Man suspected of killing roommate is moved to jail in Washington County following arrest in California

Composite image with background photo of scene at apartment on 300 East with overlay booking photo of Joshua Huntsman taken in Washington County, Utah, July 31, 2020| Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —The man suspected of killing his roommate in an apartment on 300 East in July, 24-year-old Joshua Anthony Huntsman, arrived in Utah Friday after being arrested by authorities in Santa Rosa, California.

Joshua Anthony Huntsman, 24, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, July 31, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Huntsman was extradited from Santa Rosa, California, and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility shortly before midnight where he faces first-degree murder and second-degree felony theft charges.

The arrest stems from an incident that began July 3 when officers were called to an apartment complex on 300 East to conduct a welfare check on a resident, Gary Hall, after the general manager of Denny’s on St. George Boulevard contacted police when he failed to show up for work.

The manager also told responding officers that Hall was not answering his phone, which “was not normal for Gary,” detectives noted in the affidavit filed in support of the warrant issued for Huntsman’s arrest.

Responding officers were able to access the apartment by climbing through a window, where they “observed feet lying on the floor.”  

When officers forced entry through the front door to perform life-saving measures, they found Hall lying dead in a pool of blood and covered with a blanket. 

Officers also learned that Hall’s vehicle, a Honda passenger car, was missing from its parking space in front of the complex.   

Through the course of the investigation, officers determined that Hall’s roommate, Hunstman, was not at the apartment. Officers later learned the suspect had not shown up for his shift as a cook at a local restaurant. 

As investigators processed the scene, they found a bullet and casing near Hall’s body. The report also states that detectives also found an empty gun safe in Huntsman’s room.

Officers respond to an apartment complex on 300 East where the body of Gary Hall was discovered deceased inside of his residence, St. George, Utah, July 3, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

It was later determined during an autopsy that Hall sustained two gunshot wounds to the head, one to the front of the face and the other to the back of the head.

Three days later, officers obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s cell phone, which revealed that his phone was within several hundred feet of a residence on Goodman Avenue in Santa Rosa, California. 

Authorities in Santa Rosa located the Honda belonging to Hall parked in a grocery store parking lot located within walking distance of the Goodman Avenue address. Officers monitored the vehicle while detectives in St. George obtained a warrant for Huntsman’s arrest.  

Once the no-bail arrest warrant was signed by District Judge Jeffrey C. Willcox on July 7, it was sent to the Santa Rosa Police Department and Huntsman was arrested at the Goodman Avenue residence the following day. During a search of the suspect, officers found a 9 mm handgun, the same caliber as the shell casings recovered in the apartment on 300 East. 

Additional warrants are being filed in the case as the investigation continues, and many of the documents remain sealed at this time. Huntsman is scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5th District Court Tuesday at 2 p.m. and is being held without bail.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!