Plea offer pending in LaVerkin murder case

ST. GEORGE – A murder case involving a LaVerkin man may be resolved in the coming weeks as a potential plea deal moves forward.

John Stettler Stucki the night of his arrest falling the fight with Donald Loomer, booking photo, Washington County Sheriff's Department, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 8, 2013 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George News
John Stettler Stucki the night of his arrest following the fight with Donald Loomer, booking photo, Washington County Sheriff’s Department, Hurricane, Utah, Oct. 8, 2013 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Though John Stettler Stucki, 55, of LaVerkin, pleaded not guilty to first-degree felony murder charge in 5th District Court Thursday, his attorney said he was considering taking a plea offer.

“We do have a plea offer in this case he is thinking he’d like to accept if it’s under the same terms that (Deputy Washington County Attorney Zachary Weiland) previously advised,” Edward Flint, Stucki’s attorney, said. “It’s just a matter of some time to put the paperwork together, perhaps two weeks.”

Flint had previously submitted a motion to quash a bind over order that bound Stucki for trial on the murder charge. He argued the state hadn’t provided significant evidence for the charge, but possibly enough a lower charge of manslaughter or homicide by assault. However, with a potential plea offer in the works, Flint withdrew the motion Thursday.

Fifth District Judge John Walton scheduled Stucki’s next hearing for Dec. 18 at 9 a.m.

Stucki was arrested in October 2013, following an altercation between himself and 64-year-old Donald George Loomer. The two had been drinking and got into a fight. During the fight, Loomer allegedly smashed a coffee mug into the side of Stucki’s face. At some point after that, Stucki allegedly hit Loomer in the head with a 4-foot-long, 2-inch-wide branch. The impact from the blow left Loomer unconscious.

Loomer was flown to Las Vegas for treatment where he ultimately died from his injuries.

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  • Just Me.... December 4, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    You cannot charge a dead person with aggravated assault but wasn’t that considered relevant here? Two drunks brawling. One is head upside the head with a blunt object, remains conscious and reactively hits the other with a convenient object. Even if it was not self-defense it was a response from an injured person to his assailant. How is that anything but negligent homicide, or homicide…through stupidity? Sober, each of these men apparently found the other worthwhile to know. Drunk, neither was worth anything to the other. It seems they took their chances one too many times….

    • Totally December 4, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      I completely agree with you. Murder is quite a stretch, just look at this guys injuries, I highly doubt their altercation was intended to end with murder. That is the unfortunate part of drugs and alcohol – I hope this guy learns, heals and gets help through whatever sentence they give him.

  • Koolaid December 4, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Another example of one of southern Utah’s finest citizens! Can you say DIXIE?

  • PROTECT THE SHEEP December 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Two drunken vagrants having a good ol’ fashioned brawl. accidents happen…

  • Holdthemayo December 5, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I’m sure If this was a married family man and a registered voter we would be reading a different story

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