Man charged with aggravated attempted murder following brutal stabbing at office after midnight

2018 file photo of St. George Police patrol vehicle, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2018 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The man accused in a brutal beating of a woman at a shuttle office early Thursday morning appeared in court facing multiple charges, including aggravated attempted murder and aggravated robbery.

Salt Lake Express shuttle service office where employee was attacked in the middle of the night, St. George, Utah, Aug. 5, 2021 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

On Friday afternoon, 53-year-old Anthony Michael Halladay, of West Valley City. made an initial appearance before District Judge Eric Ludlow during a hearing held in 5th District Court.

The defendant has been charged with two first-degree felonies, including aggravated attempted murder and aggravated robbery. He was also charged with second-degree felony vehicle theft and third-degree felony aggravated assault, as well as a misdemeanor charge of unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.   

The charges stem from an incident reported Thursday, when shortly before 1 a.m. a woman called 911 reporting she had been stabbed in the neck while working at the Salt Lake Express office located in the shopping center on Bluff Street near the now-closed Kmart store.

She also told the dispatcher the suspect entered the business and demanded money from the register, and told her to hand over her purse and car keys. 

Officers arrived to find the employee severely injured inside of the office. She said the suspect entered the business and demanded money from the register, and also ordered her to hand over her purse and car keys. After she complied, she said the suspect stabbed her in the back of the neck and hands, and then dragged her to a backroom, where she said she thought he was going to kill her.

The suspect then fled the business and tried to steal her vehicle, but the attempt failed. He then ran from the parking lot.

She then made her way to the front door and locked it before calling police. She also provided a description of the suspect and said he had several tattoos. 

Officers found the vehicle still running in the parking lot in front of the business with the passenger’s side door open.

The injured employee was transported to St. George Regional Medical Center by ambulance in serious condition. The report states that medical staff at hospital informed officers the woman suffered “several serious stab wounds to her neck and hands.”

Meanwhile, patrol officers canvassing the area saw a man trying to flag them down near the Temple View RV Park “appearing to want to turn himself in,” the report states.  

The man, who also matched the description of the suspect involved in the incident, had blood on his hands, the officer noted, and next to where the man was standing, officers found crumpled currency hidden in a bush and many of the bills had blood on them. 

“It appears this money came from Salt Lake Express after the assault,” the report states. 

The suspect was identified as Halladay by his Utah driver’s license, which was suspended, and an Idaho driver’s license identified that man by an alias, Anthony Terry. 

The report also states that Halladay made several spontaneous statements, saying he dropped the knife and the woman’s purse near the abandoned movie theater on South Main Street. During a search of the area officers located the knife and purse, as well as the keys to the woman’s Jeep, her cell phone and her wallet. 

The employee’s statements were supported by the video footage provided to police. In the footage, the suspect was standing near the office and appeared to be watching the employee for several minutes before entering the business, then entering and grabbing a decoration that appeared to be some type of nail ball with sharp ends. 

In the video, the suspect walked up behind the employee before striking her in the head multiple times. As he was grabbing money from the cash register, the footage showed the suspect holding the employee by the hair. 

The man then grabbed the employee and dragged her to an office down the hall, away from the view of the cameras. 

Minutes later, the suspect appeared on camera again and appeared to be swinging his arm at something, which the officer noted was the woman being stabbed.  

The footage also showed Halladay running from the room, and as he was rifling through several desk drawers, the woman could be seen emerging from the back room holding her neck, but when she spotted the suspect she appeared to retreat back into the room and close the door. 

During the encounter with officers, the suspect was wearing black glasses, identical to the ones he was seen wearing in the footage, and had a gray goatee and a bald head, which also matched the detailed description provided to police. Halladay was arrested and transported to jail, where the judge ordered Friday that Halladay be held without bail.

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 statements from court records, police or other responders 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, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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