Smithfield man arrested after allegedly attempting to kill father with hatchet

Ethan Mortensen. Photo Courtesy: Cache County Jail

SMITHFIELD, Utah, July 12, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Smithfield man was arrested Thursday after allegedly trying to kill his father with a hatchet while intoxicated.

A probable cause statement from the 1st District Court of Logan said Ethan Drake Mortensen, 20, is facing charges of attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and intoxication, a class A misdemeanor.

The arresting officer was called to the area of 555 S. 100 East in Smithfield to assist officers on scene with an attempted murder Thursday. A witness told the officer he heard the suspect and his father fighting in the garage. The witness said he went to where he could hear them fighting and saw the suspect with a hatchet raised in the direction of his father. The witness said he tackled the suspect to stop the attack.

“The victim said he went outside to feed his cats and dogs and saw Mortensen drinking heavily in the garage,” the statement said. “He said he confronted Mortensen and said they were going to have to kick him out of the house for drinking at home after they had asked him not to. The victim said they began arguing and Mortensen went to his tan backpack and removed a hatchet and a knife.”

The victim said Mortensen then began screaming he was going to kill himself and began cutting his own neck.

“The victim tried to calm Mortensen down, however Mortensen turned his anger toward the victim and went after him with the knife and hatchet and said ‘I am going to kill you,'” the statement said.

“The victim said he tried to stop Mortensen from stabbing him, and that is how he received a laceration to his hand. Officers were able to find both the hatchet and the knife used in this crime.”

Mortensen was arrested by responding officers and taken to Logan Regional Hospital.

After being read his Miranda rights at the hospital, the suspect admitted to “freaking out” because he was so mad at his dad for being a “sh—- father,” the statement said.

“He said he kept freaking out and described removing the hatchet from a tan backpack as well as a knife,” the statement said. “He admitted to swinging the hatchet. He initially said he was swinging at his father and then said he was swinging at himself.”

During the interview, the arresting officer could smell “very strongly” the odor of alcohol coming from Mortensen’s person, the statement said. When asked, Mortensen said he had been drinking but did not know how much he had. While obtaining a test for COVID-19 before transport to the jail, the suspect agreed to sign a medical release form. The medical records from Logan Regional Hospital showed Mortensen’s alcohol levels were at 0.273.

The suspect was transported to Cache County Jail, where he is being held without bail.


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