Layton man pleads guilty to 2020 killing of woman met through dating app

Ethan Robert Hunsaker. Photo: Layton Police Department

FARMINGTON, Utah, July 3, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Layton man has pleaded guilty to the 2020 murder of a woman he met hours earlier through a dating app.

Ethan Hunsaker, now 25, called police in Layton on May 24, 2020, saying he had killed someone. Officers responding to Hunsaker’s residence found the body of Ashlyn Black, 25, who had been strangled and stabbed. Medical crews were unable to revive her.

“During the recorded 911 call, Ethan told dispatchers that he had just killed someone,” his probable cause statement says. “Ethan stated to dispatch he ‘did not know’ the person he had just killed, but had met the victim on a dating application called Tinder.”

Hunsaker pleaded guilty but mentally ill Tuesday in 2nd District Court. Hunsaker’s trial had been set to begin next month.

Judge David Connors ordered that Hunsaker undergo a mental evaluation before sentencing. He set a hearing on the evaluation for Aug. 27.

Depending on the evaluation’s findings, Hunsaker will be sent to the Utah State Hospital for treatment or to the Utah State Prison.

With either outcome, his sentence remains the same: 15 years to life.

Ashlyn Black. Photo: Layton City Police Department

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