SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 9, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A West Jordan man who pleaded guilty to running over and killing his wife while intoxicated at the Salt Lake City International Airport in April has been sentenced to serve up to 20 years in prison.
Shawn Christopher Sturgeon, 38, was sentenced Friday to serve one to 15 years for automobile homicide involving criminal negligence and DUI, a second-degree felony, and up to five years for domestic violence in the presence of a child, a third-degree felony.
Judge Paul B. Parker ordered that the prison sentences be served consecutively.
Salt Lake City police say Sturgeon was driving an SUV on the second level of the airport’s short-term parking at 615 N. Parking Plaza at 2:39 p.m. when he ran over his wife, Charlotte Sturgeon, 29.
Shawn Sturgeon then drove the SUV, with his wife critically injured inside, to the airport parking payment booths, where he asked for help, police said. Paramedics transported Charlotte Sturgeon to an area hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
Police said the couple and “their small child were arriving back in town from a vacation,” according Shawn Sturgeon’s probable cause statement.
Officers arrived to find Charlotte Sturgeon “in the front seat of a vehicle near the toll area. She was non-responsive but breathing,” court documents state.
Video surveillance obtained from the airport garage showed Shawn Sturgeon putting the child into the right passenger side of the vehicle, then getting into the driver’s seat, police said.
“Charlotte appeared to be sitting in the front passenger seat, and then is seen exiting the vehicle,” court documents states. “She walked to the rear passenger side seat of the vehicle and opened the door as Sturgeon started to reverse the vehicle.
“He abruptly sped up and then stopped the car. Charlotte lost her balance during this abrupt movement. The door to the vehicle was still open. Within seconds, Sturgeon again hit the accelerator and quickly moved backwards.”
The woman’s legs “could be seen flailing about as Sturgeon continued to reverse,” according to the police statement. “Being dragged caused Charlotte to fall to the ground under the vehicle.
“Sturgeon then put the vehicle in drive, accelerated quickly forward, and pushed the accelerator and quickly over Charlotte’s body with the right rear passenger tire, leaving a tire imprint on her body, and the weight of the vehicle causing serious bodily injury to her internal organs.”
Sturgeon then got out of the SUV “while yelling and flailing his arms,” and ordered his wife to “get in the vehicle, which she did shortly before succumbing to her wounds,” the probable cause statement says.
Responding officers said Sturgeon appeared to be intoxicated and had glassy, bloodshot eyes and an odor of alcohol. Witnesses also told police that Sturgeon appeared angry with his wife prior to running her over.
One witness overheard yelling and arguing between the couple before seeing the SUV run over the woman.
Another witness said she heard the woman yelling and screaming while on the ground. Sturgeon then got out of the car and asked the woman “why she just did that. The male then said, ‘Now I have to take you the emergency room,’ and then aggressively picked her up and pushed her towards the front passenger seat,” court documents state.
A preliminary toxicology screen showed Sturgeon had a blood alcohol level of 0.13. The legal limit in Utah is 0.05.
An autopsy performed on Charlotte Sturgeon found her death was caused by blunt force trauma.
Shawn Sturgeon will be transferred from the Salt Lake County Jail to the Utah State Prison, court documents state.