St. George man jailed after alleged attempted murder of his 95-year-old mother

St. George Police vehicle. File photo: sgcity.org

ST. GEORGE, Utah, June 30, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 72-year-old St. George man is being held without bail after being charged with the attempted homicide of his 95-year-old mother.

Steven Sweat faces initial charges of:

  • Homicide (attempted) by assault, a first-degree felony
  • Abuse or neglect of vulnerable adult by criminal negligence, a second-degree felony
  • Possession of forgery writing/device, a third-degree felony
  • Aggravated cruelty to animals, intentional or knowingly, a class A misdemeanor
  • Unlawful possession/purchase/transfer of a dangerous weapon, a class A misdemeanor
  • Possession of controlled substances, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

Sweat’s probable cause statement says St. George police were dispatched to a disturbance¬† after a concerned person called to report “a female banging on her front door and screaming for help. When she opened the door, her neighbor, … a 95 year old told (the concerned party) that her son was trying to kill her.”

Her son was later identified as Sweat.

“As officers were responding, (the concerned party) told dispatch that Steven was trying to hurt his mother and now had a knife in his possession,” Sweat’s probable cause statement says.

Arriving officers found Sweat and his mother on the front porch, with his mother attempting to calm him.

“Steven was yelling and screaming, and had a cut on his abdomen,” the affidavit continues. “He was taken into custody and placed into a police vehicle after being handcuffed. The knife was located underneath a bush in the carport area near the porch, and was pointed out to officers by a neighbor who had witnessed some of the altercation. The knife had an approximate 10-inch long blade and a wooden handle.”

Post Miranda, the statement says, Sweat admitted he grabbed the victim “and attempted to strangle her to death,” the statement says. “When he was asked specifically what his intention was when he was choking her, he told Officer Groves and Officer Hughes both that he had intended to kill her. Steven said that (the victim) was crying and begging him to stop, and he let go of her throat.

“He then admitted that he grabbed her again by the throat and started to strangle her again by squeezing her throat. He again acknowledged that his intention was to kill (her). During this time, Steven told Officer Groves that (the victim) was fighting him and screaming and begging him to stop, and that she had attempted to get away from him several times. He let go of her and she was able to get out of the residence and ran next door for help.”

The victim said she asked her neighbor for help, then returned to calm down Sweat.

“Steven then picked up a large kitchen knife with an approximate 10-inch blade and he held it above his head and told (the victim) that he was going to kill her and then himself. When police arrived, Steven had tossed the knife into the bushes in an attempt to conceal it from discovery by law enforcement. He also admitted that during this situation, he had also grabbed his small Chihuahua dog by the neck and attempted to kill it by strangling it. He told Officer Groves that the dog was too strong and fought back and he was not able to kill it so he let it go.”

Drugs were later find in Sweat’s bedroom, the police report says.

The statement says the victim appeared to be scared of Sweat, but told officers he was her caretaker, and she was afraid of going to a retirement home.

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