Formal murder charge filed against Summit County landlord in tenant’s shooting death

File photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah, Oct. 14, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Summit County Attorney’s Office on Thursday filed a formal charge against James Kip Ramsdell in the shooting death of housemate John Krieg.

Ramsdell, 58, now faces one count of murder (dangerous weapon enhancement,) a first-degree felony.

Summit County Sheriff deputies were called to the scene of a body in front of a house in the 200 block of Countryside Circle at 6:50 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7.

“Deputies, together with emergency medical personnel, arrived on the scene and observed a man lying on his back on the ground next to the road,” the probable cause statement says. “The man was later identified as John Krieg…

“Deputies observed that Krieg had numerous injuries to his face and had a single gunshot wound to his chest in the area of the left clavicle. While deputies were attempting to secure the scene, an intoxicated man appeared near the scene and was asked to leave.”

The intoxicated man walked back to the residence on the same lot where Krieg’s body had been found, the affidavit says.

After securing the scene, deputies began canvassing nearby homes for witnesses. Deputies started with the home on the property where Krieg’s body was located. They made contact with the intoxicated man, Ramsdell, who they learned owns the residence and rents the basement to Krieg and another man, the statement says.

Ramsdell and the surviving tenant were found upstairs, seated on barstools near a kitchen bar, the statement says.

“Ramsdell was heavily intoxicated and had a gunshot wound to his left hand with apparent
injury to his ring finger and pinky,” the probable cause statement says. “Ramsdell initially stated that he knew nothing about the body outside but then claimed that someone had shot him and stated, ‘F—ing people, maybe I killed him. I don’t know.'”

Ramsdell was taken to a hospital to be treated for his hand injury.

“While at the hospital, deputies observed bruises and minor injuries to his right hand and knuckles which appeared consistent with him having been in a fight,” Ramsdell’s probable cause statement says. “Due to his level of intoxication, he was interviewed only after a portable breath test showed negative for alcohol.

“Post-Miranda, Ramsdell stated that he could have shot Krieg. He made numerous statements that were inconsistent with statements made by (the other tenant) as well as the physical evidence located at the scene.”

Ramsdell stated he owns a .22 caliber revolver which had a capacity for five rounds, and that he only had four rounds chambered, the statement says.

The other tenant “was interviewed and reported that he was trying to sleep when he heard an altercation between Ramsdell and Krieg. He reported hearing a gunshot in the home around 1 a.m. He left his room and saw Ramsdell with a gunshot wound and reported that
Ramsdell stated he might’ve shot himself.”

The tenant tried to help Ramsdell with his injury, and suggested they call police, the statement says.

“Ramsdell had possession of a gun, and told (the tenant) not to call police. (The tenant) reported that Ramsdell put the gun in his front right pocket. (The tenant) reported that Ramsdell stated the gun belonged to him.”

The tenant “reported that at some point during the night Ramsdell stated, ‘We need to kill him or something,’ and had earlier stated, ‘We need to f—ing kill him,’ and also stated, ‘I’m going to f—ing kill him,’ all in reference to Krieg.”

The tenant reported that at some time later, “he, Ramsdell and Krieg all went outside to the
front, where Ramsdell and Krieg were arguing.”

The tenant told officers that Ramsdell told him to put the dogs back in the house. The tenant said he last saw Ramsdell “walking toward the roadway and in possession of the gun.” When Ramsdell returned to the house alone, the tenant told officers he asked Ramsdell where Krieg was, and Ramsdell responded he did not know.

The tenant “went to look for Krieg and found him lying on the ground. He checked for a pulse and found that Krieg was deceased.”

The tenant returned to the house and told Ramsdell Krieg was dead, and both went outside, where Ramsdell shook the victim’s body, the statement says. The tenant again told Ramsdell they should call the police, and Ramsdell told him not to, the affidavit says.

The tenant told deputies “that he did not call police out of fear because Ramsdell still had possession of the gun.”

A neighbor reported waking up at about 4:15 a.m. after hearing an altercation, the statement says.

Search warrants granted for the residence turned up a .22 caliber pistol in the upstairs, where Ramsdell lives, and near the kitchen bar.

Deputies located blood and other evidence of an altercation in the basement of the home, which was consistent with the statements made by the tenant, but not with the version of events given by Ramsdell.

Ramsdell is being held without bail in the Summit County Jail.


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