Charged with attempted murder, LaVerkin man claims victim forced himself onto knife

Officers at a mobile home after a stabbing was reported on 300 North in LaVerkin, Utah, June 15, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A LaVerkin man arrested Saturday has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly stabbing a man and a dog during an altercation.

A mobile home is taped off after a stabbing on 300 North in LaVerkin, Utah, June 15, 2019 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

On Monday, the Washington County Attorney’s Office charged Christian McKusick, 27, with one count of attempted murder, one Class A misdemeanor for possession of a weapon by a Category I person and aggravated animal cruelty, a Class B misdemeanor.

McKusick was arrested Saturday after officers responded to a reported stabbing at a mobile home in LaVerkin and found the man and his dog injured.  

Read more: Police: Man stabbed while defending dog from knife attack in LaVerkin

The victim told police that McKusick and his wife were on the porch when the victim’s dog began sniffing the defendant. McKusick allegedly said something and the victim told him not to touch his dog, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.

Christian McKusick booking photo, Washington County, Utah, June 15, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

According to the victim’s statement the defendant pulled a knife from his pocket and stabbed the dog. The victim reacted by pushing McKusick up against the wall which is when the defendant “came straight down on his head with the knife,” and then proceeded to stab him in the neck. The defendant ran into the main residence, taking the knife with him, the report said.

The man suffered stab wounds to the head and neck and was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment while the dog was also stabbed in the neck and was taken to an emergency veterinarian by a family member.

McKusick was located a short time later and transported to the LaVerkin police station where he gave a very different account of the chain of events that led up to the stabbing.

The defendant said that he and his wife were on the front porch of their residence smoking cigarettes when the victim, who lives in the apartment behind his residence, began calling him “a bitch” which upset him, particularly due to spending time in prison, he told the officers.

McKusick claimed the victim passed him again and repeated the derogatory names which escalated into a verbal altercation that at some point turned physical, and then McKusick said he ran off. He initially denied having a knife.

Upon further questioning McKusick told police it was the victim who came at him with the knife, and once he disarmed the victim, the defendant held the knife to the victim’s throat. McKusick went on to tell police it was the victim who forced himself onto the knife, basically cutting his own throat.

The report also said that McKusick told officers he felt threatened by the victim and was afraid for the safety of both he and his wife, while he maintained he had no knowledge of cutting the dog.

During a search of the defendant’s residence police located several knives in the defendant’s bedroom, which he is prohibited from possessing as he is a convicted felon, the report states.

McKusick was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where he is being held without bail and is scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5th District Court Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

While the defendant has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2010, the cases involve drug and theft offenses. This is the first case where McKusick is accused of committing violence.

This report is based on statements from police and may not contain the full scope of findings. 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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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.


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