ST. GEORGE — After more than a year of delays, the case of a man charged with the aggravated attempted murder of a another man who was severely beaten and robbed made it to trial Monday with the jury hearing opening arguments.
Kade Robert Shearer, 21, has been charged with first-degree felony aggravated attempted murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping, along with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, and misdemeanor tampering with evidence and threat of violence.
Shearer is accused of masterminding a plan to have his girlfriend, co-defendant 21-year-old Sasha Michelle Davis, lure a man to Turkey Farm Road in Washington County on April 14, where they mauled him with a hammer, tied him up, shocked him with a stun gun, dragged him by a rope tied around his neck and stole his wallet and phone.
After the attack, Davis and Shearer fled to Newcastle and were arrested the following day by Cedar City Police at a friend’s home.
A third defendant, Vincent Montel Rodabough, also took part in the scheme and was later charged with aggravated assault and felony obstruction of justice.
The events that led up to the April 2018 incident were revisited during the opening of the trial Monday as Washington County Attorney Joseph Hood and defense attorney Edward Flint gave their opening arguments.
Hood opened by saying that when the victim of the alleged attack received a text from co-defendant Davis inviting him out to a secluded area, he believed it would be “the night of his life. … a night of pleasure with Sasha.”
What the accuser didn’t know at the time, Hood said, was that the text was part of a plan that was hatched by Shearer, and instead the man “would be confronted with a night of unimaginable pain.”
Hood continued by saying the experience that night would have been terrifying when Shearer emerged from his hiding place in the truck wearing a dark mask and gloves and approached the man, whose attention was diverted by Davis kissing him in the car.
“That is who the victim was confronted with that night as he was repeatedly beaten — within an inch of his life,” Hood said.
When it came time for the defense, Flint opened by saying that during the Iron Age, any man who causes harm to another man’s wife shall give a “life for a life, eye for eye, tooth for a tooth,” paraphrased Exodus 21-22, adding that the same message is repeated again and again in the Bible.
“The whole eye for an eye concept goes back even further than the Bible,” Flint said.
Flint went on to say that Davis was dating Shearer at the time, and she told him she was sexually assaulted by the other man. Flint said Shearer was acting on that information when he assaulted the man.
Flint also said his client admitted to assaulting the man out on Old Turkey Farm Road and that Shearer even told police “I took it too far.” The attorney said the defendant “even cried” when talking to authorities.
Flint said if aggravated assault was the only charge his client was facing, “then we wouldn’t be here.”
“But the state’s position is that Shearer’s plan was to beat, rob, kidnap and kill the man out in the desert.”
In the end, Flint said, the case involves a fight over a girl that went too far, but his client never intended to kill the man. “That was never part of the plan.”
Davis also took the stand Monday, and Hood first asked the witness to tell the court the charges to which she pleaded guilty in exchange for her testimony against Shearer.
Davis testified that she was charged with aggravated attempted murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault, along with misdemeanors for tampering with evidence and threat of violence.
She pleaded guilty to all charges except for aggravated murder and the misdemeanor drug charge which were dismissed as part of her plea deal. After serving jail time, she has the option to spend one year in a treatment program if she can be released into the facility directly from jail.
Davis also recounted the events that took place that night on Turkey Farm Road. She admitted to telling Shearer that the accuser sexually assaulted her and that the plan was to beat the man and “teach him a lesson.”
Davis said that she and Shearer knew the man for at least 10 days prior to the incident and that even though she and the victim had a falling out, she texted him indicating that she wanted to have sex with him and told him to meet her at a spot on Turkey Farm Road in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.
When the man arrived, he found Rodabough, a mutual acquaintance, in a car with Davis, and at some point, Davis got into the victim’s car and he began kissing her. Shearer came out of the other car’s trunk and started beating the man with the hammer.
Davis also described how she used the victim’s own finger to unlock his cell phone to delete incriminating messages. She described the scene and said she and Rodabough decided to take the man to the hospital since he “was in pretty bad shape at that point.”
She also testified that the trio intended to take the man’s money, but killing him was “never part of the plan.”
Davis will be back on the stand for cross-examination by Flint on Tuesday.
The state charges against the third defendant, Roadabough, are pending after he was sentenced on federal charges of conspiracy to manufacture 1,000 or more marijuana plants and use/carry of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
He was ordered to serve his time in a federal drug court program. A review of the case involving the April 2018 incident is scheduled to take place in December 2020.
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