ST. GEORGE — The preliminary hearing for the couple accused of trying to kill a man with a hammer became heated Friday, and it wasn’t just because of the broken air conditioning in the courtroom.
The 40-year-old victim faced his accused attackers at the 5th District Courthouse in St. George for the first time since getting beaten and robbed, and he did not hold back in calling them “murderers” who were “from hell.”
Sasha Michelle Davis, 20, and Kade Robert Shearer, 21, allegedly lured the man to a remote part of Washington County on April 14, where they mauled him with a hammer, tied him up, shocked him with a stun gun, and stole his wallet and phone. They were each charged with felonies for aggravated attempted murder, aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping and misdemeanors for tampering with evidence and threat of violence.
“You should have killed me”
The accuser said he first met Davis and Shearer 10 days before the alleged attack when he celebrated graduating from drug court by smoking marijuana while Davis and Shearer used methamphetamine. Then man then had a “one-night stand” in the back of his car with Davis. Though Davis and Shearer had also been in a relationship before, the man said he got permission from Shearer to talk to Davis.
The man said he had a falling-out with Davis, but on April 14, he received a text from her that indicated she wanted to have sex with him again. In the text, the man said Davis told him to meet on Turkey Farm Road near the Black Gulch trailhead in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.
When the man arrived at the location on Turkey Farm Road, he found Davis in a car with a 48-year-old mutual friend named Vincent “Montel” Rodabough. They parked, and the accuser said Rodabough started picking up “thousands of bullet casings” in the area, which he thought was “peculiar to me because they always ran their mouth about shooting some people down here.”
The man went into his car with Davis, who kissed him before playing a rap song from her phone that blared “You f— with my b—-, and now I’m going to f— you.”
At that point, the man said Shearer entered the car wearing a mask and hit him three times in the head with a mini-sledge hammer. Before initiating the attack, Shearer had been hiding in the trunk of a vehicle as he waited for the man to be alone with Davis, according to a news release after the attack from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Davis and Shearer then allegedly tied the man up and dragged him through the bushes and rocks while Shearer continued to beat him with the hammer and Davis used a stun gun on him, the accuser said. Davis shocked the man with the stun gun each time the man started to fight back and get an advantage over Shearer, he said.
“He hit me so many times with the hammer that the wood on the back broke and he turned it around and plunged the hammer into the front of my head.”
Shearer also tried strangling the man with a rope, which caused the man to go pass out twice, he said. The entire time, the accuser said Shearer was telling him he was going to kill him.
“They’re murderers,” the accuser said while facing both suspects in the courtroom. “You should have killed me.”
The man said Rodabough was standing over the incident the entire time and didn’t help him get free from Shearer. The attack finally finished when the man said Shearer nearly passed out from beating him so hard and so long.
After the attack, Davis and Shearer stole the man’s wallet and phone before fleeing the area in Rodabough’s black Honda Accord, police said. They used the man’s fingerprint to unlock his iPhone so they could delete the text messages that lured him to Turkey Farm Road, the man said. Rodabough then took the man to Dixie Regional Medical Center in his own car before even untying him, the man said.
Aftermath of the attack
The accuser said his injuries from the attack cause him to be permanently numb on the entire right side of his body, lose most of his vision in his right eye, endure pain from cuts and bruises, and walk with a limp.
“Some days I limp and some days I can’t even move.”
The man needed 25 staples in his head to close his wounds. He said it was a long time before he was able to speak without difficulty because his throat was injured.
When the man was at the hospital, he said Rodabough took his keys and left in his car. Rodabough also took the rope that he came into the hospital tied up in and stashed it in a planter at the hospital “because he didn’t want him to have bad memories of what happened to him,” Washington County detective Wesley Licalzi said at the hearing.
He testified that Davis and Shearer fled to Newcastle, where they stashed Rodabough’s car. Davis told him they then walked the nearly 30 miles to Cedar City, where they used the victim’s money from the stolen wallet to buy new shoes and other goods at Walmart. The next day, Davis and Shearer were arrested by Cedar City Police at a friend’s home.
Both Davis and Shearer admitted to the crimes after being interviewed by investigators, Licalzi said.
Rodabough was charged in June with felonies for aggravated assault and obstructing justice for his connection to the attack.
When asked if there were any other belongings besides his wallet and phone stolen from the crime scene, the accuser said “they took my life.”
Arguments and next steps
At the preliminary hearing, the defense argued the attempted murder charge should be dismissed because Davis and Shearer only wanted to hurt the man and not kill him. They also had camping equipment in their car at the scene like a machete that Shearer could have used if he really wanted to kill the man, Shearer’s attorney Larry Meyers said.
“There were pointed instruments that could have been used to kill someone, and yet they chose not to use those,” Meyers said.
Davis also told investigators that there was more than a kiss shared between her and the man before Shearer attacked him with the hammer. She accused the man of fondling her breasts and being forceful, Lizcali said.
All of the evidence points to Shearer and Davis wanting the man to live, even if they may have beat him, Meyers said.
Deputy Washington County Attorney Jerry Jaeger argued that their intent was clear when they continued to tell the man that they were going to kill him.
“Over and over again, they tried to kill him. The only reason that (Shearer) did not kill him is that (Shearer) became winded,” Jaeger said.
Judge Jeffrey Wilcox did not accept the defense’s arguments and decided to bind the attempted murder charges over, which means if the case goes to trial, a jury will decide whether or not Davis and Shearer are guilty of attempted murder.
However, Wilcox did dismiss the misdemeanor charge against Davis for threat of violence because he said there wasn’t any evidence she threatened the man. But he did find evidence that she served as an accomplice in the alleged attempted murder.
The next step in the case will see Davis and Shearer entering pleas for the crimes at their arraignment scheduled for Sept. 18.
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