ST. GEORGE – A 65-year-old St. George area transient, who was discovered to have multiple violent felony convictions including rape, robbery, kidnapping and two counts of murder, was arrested Tuesday for failing to register as a sex offender after bragging to medical personnel about his past crimes.
At approximately 9:45 p.m., officers responded to a medical assist call at the Pilot Flying J gas station, located at 2841 S. 60 East in St. George, where they made contact with Thomas Asbury Waggener, according to a probable cause statement written by St. George Police Officer David McDaniel in support of the arrest.
“Thomas bragged to the EMT on scene that he was a convicted murderer and rapist,” McDaniel wrote in the statement, “and that he had been staying at Switchpoint and then camping in the desert.”
When McDaniel ran Waggener’s information, Waggener was found to be a lifetime sexual offender with multiple alias names, social security numbers and dates of birth, and was listed as a noncompliant offender, according to the statement.
Waggener was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. McDaniel interviewed Waggener while he was being worked on by medical personnel.
Following his interview with Waggener, McDaniel wrote in the statement of probable cause:
He knew he was supposed to register as a sex offender. He stated he had registered a couple of years ago while in California and that should count. Thomas stated he did not have time and did not feel like walking to get his sex offender registry taken care of.
After Waggener received medical clearance at the hospital, he was arrested for the sex offender registration violation because he had been in the St. George area for more than 11 days without registering.
During a search of Waggener, officers located a 3.5 inch tactical folding knife in his pocket.
“I checked Thomas’ criminal history and found multiple violent felony convictions including rape, robbery, kidnapping, two counts of murder and others,” McDaniel wrote in the statement.
Waggener was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
He was charged with two third-degree felonies for failure to register as a sex offender and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person. His bail pending trial stands at $10,000.
Waggener is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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