UPDATED: ‘I had to’: Mother allegedly admits to cutting son’s throat with scissors at St. George motel

St. George Police secure the area at a Motel 6 after an 8-year-old was attacked there, St. George, Utah, Aug. 26, 2021 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Police say a woman admitted to stabbing her son in the throat with scissors at the Motel 6 in St. George on Thursday, telling authorities “I had to.”

Megan Michelle Stewart, 28, appears for a court hearing at Purgatory Correctional Facility, Aug. 27, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Utah Courts Pool, St. George News

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, 28-year-old Megan Michelle Stewart is being held at Purgatory Correctional Facility on three charges, including attempted murder. Her place of residence was not revealed in the report; however, it states Stewart had an active warrant in Washington County for domestic violence-related charges and is on probation for a previous DUI in Colorado, where she also has a protective order for her son filed against her.

The incident at the motel on 1000 East drew a large police response Thursday. The police report identified the child as being the 8-year-old son of the suspect. St. George Police initially reported the child as being 10-years-old on Thursday. 

Stewart made her first court appearance early Friday afternoon at 5th District Court. Judge Jeffrey Wilcox advised Stewart that she was being held without bail. He also advised Stewart of her charges, which she responded she understood.

Stewart was appointed a public defender and her next hearing was set for Sept. 2.

According to the police report, an employee at the Motel 6 told officers that she initially saw the child around 9 a.m. running through an alley between two buildings at the motel, screaming for help and yelling that his mother was trying to suffocate him. 

The employee told police that the woman who was later identified as Stewart followed a short distance behind the boy and told the employee “Don’t worry, he just got his butt whooped.” Police said the child then returned to Stewart’s room with his mother. 

Two hours later, police said a housekeeper saw the child outside the room, claiming his mom wanted to “kill him.” The housekeeper told the child to return to the room, then contacted the clerk, who called 911 after seeing the room’s window and door closed.  

The clerk returned to the room after calling dispatch, the report said, and found the door open and blood all over the room and the child lying on the bed. The employee, seeing the position of the child, the blood and the boy’s purple complexion, told police that she thought the child was dead. 

When police arrived, the hotel manager said he had seen Stewart walking away from the motel, informing officers of her direction of travel. 

St. George Police secure the area at a Motel 6 after an 8-year-old was attacked there, St. George, Utah, Aug. 26, 2021 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

A short time later, police captured Stewart.

At the station, the police report said Stewart admitted that she was with the child in the room, tried to suffocate him with a pillow, then stabbed him in the throat with scissors. 

Police said when Stewart was asked in interrogation why she stabbed the child with scissors, she replied, “I had to” and mentioned it was for “Satan” or “Mother Mary.” When she was told that the child was in the hospital undergoing surgery, the report states she responded that she did not want the child to recover. 

The child is continuing to recover at St. George Regional Hospital, with police expecting a full recovery.

Along with attempted murder, Stewart was booked on charges of child abuse and a violation of the protective order, as well as the domestic violence charges in Washington County. 

She remains on a 72-hour probation hold at the Purgatory facility, pending a hearing next week.

Updated 3 p.m., Aug. 27, 2021: Suspect makes first court appearance.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement 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.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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