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Lehi man dies after being arrested for brutally beating wife to death

Posted at 7:00 PM, Oct 08, 2023

LEHI, Utah — A man was arrested Friday after police say he admitted to killing his wife by repeatedly beating and strangling her.

Police were called to 671 N. Locust Lane in Lehi where a woman said her sister was covered in blood and appeared to be dead. Officers arrived and confirmed that the victim was dead and appeared to have multiple traumatic injuries.

Police said the victim's husband, 86-year-old Ronald J. Morgan, was covered in blood and "made the excited utterance that he had killed her." As he was taken to an ambulance to be treated for his own injuries, police said Morgan saw his wife's family gathered and he yelled to them that he had killed her.

After being treated, police took Morgan in for an interview. He was provided with his Miranda warning, but while at the hospital had reportedly made "unsolicited" comments — such as saying he was tired because what he did to his wife was not as easy as it would have been to shoot her.

Morgan then confessed to police that he killed his wife. He said he had been growing more and more frustrated for months before he "lost it." He said he strangled her, punched her, stomped on her, hit her with various household items, and then strangled her again. He said he did this repeatedly until the victim was dead.

The arresting officer wrote in the report that Morgan's actions were "especially heinous, atrocious, cruel, or exceptionally depraved," which the officer said should qualify for an aggravated murder charge with a domestic violence enhancement.

Morgan was booked Friday afternoon and ordered to be held without bail.

On Monday, officials with the Utah County Sheriff's Office confirmed to FOX 13 News that Morgan had died.

Although an exact cause of death is still being determined, officials report he was complaining of chest pains and was transferred to the Utah Valley Hospital.

His death is being investigated as an "in custody death," officials explained.

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Domestic violence victim resources (free, 24/7, confidential):

  • Utah Domestic Violence Coalition:
    • Hotline: 1-800-897-LINK (5465)
    • Online help: udvc.org
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.