Police: South Salt Lake man admitted he stabbed, killed friend over suspected cell phone theft

Edward Jay Kennedy. Photo: Salt Lake County

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, Sept. 12, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A South Salt Lake man stands accused of first-degree murder after police say he admitted to fatally stabbing a friend who he thought had stolen a cell phone.

Edward Kennedy, 69, has been charged on suspicion of murder; and of possession or use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, which is a third-degree felony.

According to charging documents, South Salt Lake police were dispatched on Aug. 2 to an apartment at 2880 S. 200 East and encountered  Kennedy on the sidewalk.

Inside Kennedy’s apartment, officers found 27-year-old victim Riley Nagle on the floor with a knife in his chest. Lifesaving efforts were made, but Nagle was declared dead at the scene.

Another person on scene stated Kennedy had told him that he thought he had killed a person and said, “I stuck my knife in him and twisted.”

“In a post-Miranda statement, Kennedy told investigators that he knew they were talking to him because he stabbed a guy,” charging documents say. “Kennedy explained that he had known Riley for about a month and that Riley had been staying with him off and on for the previous week. Kennedy explained that Riley went into the bedroom and said he was going to sleep.

“Kennedy believed Riley had taken his cell phone, and that angered him. While Riley was in the bedroom, Kennedy stated that his anger increased about his cell phone being taken. Kennedy stated that he began throwing Riley’s belongings out of the residence. Kennedy stated that he then grabbed a sharp knife, walked into the bedroom and stabbed Riley in the chest while he was lying on the bed.”

Kennedy told officers that after he stabbed Nagle, he left his apartment and “began telling people that he had stabbed someone.”

An autopsy determined Nagle’s cause of death to be sharp force injury and his manner of death to be homicide, the statement says.

Kennedy’s bail is set at $110,010.


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