WVCPD Announces Close to Active Search for Susan Powell
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (AP) -- Police say they believe a missing Utah woman's brother-in-law was "heavily involved" in getting rid of her body.
West Valley police say the focus of the Susan Powell disappearance shifted to Michael C. Powell after Josh Powell killed the couple's two boys and himself in a deliberately set house fire 15 months ago.
Police held a news conference Monday to say they are closing the active investigation of Susan Powell's disappearance citing a lack of leads. They are also releasing the case file, which includes details that have been kept under wraps since Powell vanished in 2009.
Michael C. Powell killed himself Feb. 11 by jumping from a parking garage in Minneapolis.
Police have said they would reopen the Susan Powell case if they get new information.
By BRADY McCOMBS Associated Press SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Salt Lake City pediatrician charged with killing his ex-wife will remain in jail on a $1.5 million cash-only bail.
Utah district court judge Robin W. Reese said Monday during hearing that he was not likely to change the bail without knowing the case. The attorney for the 49-year-old John Brickman Wall then decided to withdraw his request and wait until the judge assigned to the case is back next month.
Judge Reese did not allow John Wall's oldest son, 19-year-old Pelle Wall, to testify Monday on behalf of his mother, Uta Von Schwedler. John Wall is charged with killing Von Schwedler, a University of Utah biologist.
Pelle Wall said even though the hearing went differently than planned, he was happy since his father will remain behind bars.
Utah Company Promises Faster, Better 'Superbug' Test
By Ladd Egan (KUTV) A Southern Utah-based company has announced that its infectious disease testing system will have exclusive rights to a new test for drug-resistant superbugs.
DxNA LLC, located in St. George, says its test will offer hospitals and other care facilities quicker, cheaper and more detailed detection of Staphylococcus strains including MRSA.
“Antibiotic-resistant strains of Staph are a huge issue, a big problem in hospitals,” said DxNA President and CEO David Taus. “If we can provide them answers immediately, this will affect treatment.”
Superbugs cause hospital-acquired infections in surgical sites, around medical device implants, in the skin and soft tissue and are resistant to regular antibiotics.
The Associated Press recently reported that in U.S. hospitals, 1 in 20 patients catch infections they didn’t have when they arrived and that those infections are linked to an estimated 100,000 deaths every year.
Under a new agreement, DxNA’s portable testing system GeneSTAT will have the exclusive rights to Flagstaff, Arizona-based PathGene’s “Next Generation” test which can identify and differentiate between three of the most common types of Staph.
The GeneSTAT molecular-based analyzer is about the size of a toaster oven. The test it performs depends on the single-use cartridge inserted into the machine which contains a sample vial, control agent and a radio frequency identification tag which relays instructions on how to do the analysis.
“The idea was to have a simple, diagnostic device that could be taken right on sight,” Taus said. “You could do bedside or onsite field testing.”
Taus says the GeneSTAT will give health care workers unmatched speed and simplicity at a fraction of the cost of traditional laboratory testing.
“To be able to get the same answers that we can provide in less than two hours, now takes 48-72 hours to get that result,” he said.
Company officials say with their technology, small hospitals in rural areas would be able to afford on-site testing and that larger hospitals could install small testing stations in emergency rooms to monitor results in real time.
“It makes a huge difference,” DxNA Chief Operating Officer Ernie Sumsion said of the quicker test. “Physicians cannot afford, in the interest of their patients, to wait even 12 hours on one of these infections.”
DxNA says it will take about a year to get the superbug test ready for market.
Father Accused of Shooting, Killing 5-Month Old Son in Court
By: Roxeanne Vainuku
(KUTV) Utah County prosecutors say they are moving ahead cautiously in the case of an American Fork man accused of shooting his five-month-old son. Joshua Petersen's life is on the line in what could end up a death penalty case for the baby's murder.
Prosecutors say they now have access to Petersen's medical history prior to the April shooting. Petersen's mental status at the time of the shooting has been in question. Prosecutors say an expert will review the medical records looking for clues regarding Petersen's mental status.
Petersen is charged with criminal aggravated murder in the death of 5 month old Ryker.
Police say Petersen plotted for a month to kill Ryker, then laid the baby on a couch in the basement of his home and shot him in the forehead with a .22 caliber rifle.
Police say Petersen also tried to kill himself but a family member intervened.
Prosecutors say it could be weeks, even months before they decide whether to pursue the death penalty in this case.
They say as much as family members would like to see closure in the case, prosecutors can't rush what they call a "life and death" case.
Petersen is held without bail in the Utah County Jail. His next court appearance is June 17th.
(KUTV) At least four former governors, former party chairs, and other dignitaries, asked Utah’s Republican Party to change its convention rules last Saturday.
About 80 percent of Utahns used to vote, but now turnout is only 55 percent.
Rich McKeown with a group called Count My Vote says that so much is decided early on that voting is no longer interesting.
The current caucus system allows candidates to slide past a primary and go straight to the general election. Count My Vote would like to get rid of the caucus altogether, in favor of a primary election.
The delegates turned down the request for convention rule changes, and now, Count My Vote may gather signatures to force a vote of the people on election reform in Utah to reduce the power of state party conventions.
Dream Act Documentary to Screen at Gateway Megaplex
(KUTV) The Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington is talking about the proposal to allow some young illegal immigrants to stay legally in America Monday.
As part of the Dream Act push, a documentary will screen at 7:30pm at the Gateway Megaplex. The documentary showing this evening is timed to rally support for the Dream Act, now in Congress.
After the screening, there will be a panel discussion with advocates of immigration reform and some undocumented people.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted down the plan of Utah Senator Mike Lee to enact the border security measures first, and go ahead with the rest of the bill – only after border closing is effective.