Utah man in prison for killing mom investigated for cellmate's death

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Oct 17, 2023

GUNNISON, Utah — A man who was serving time for murdering his mom in Utah County last year is now under investigation for the death of his prison cellmate.

Gage Anthony Dinehart, 23, pleaded guilty to one felony count of murder this past April and was sentenced in June to serve 15 years to life in prison. He was arrested in May 2022 for shooting and killing his mom, 40-year-old Nicki Dinehart Peterson, in Pleasant Grove.

On Sep. 24, 66-year-old Steven Davis was found dead in his cell at the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison. He had been incarcerated since 1983 for first-degree felony sodomy of a child. Very little information was available at the time of his death, but officials said the Utah State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) was handling the case.

On Tuesday, the Utah Department of Corrections confirmed that Davis' death is being investigated as a homicide.

In a search warrant obtained by FOX 13 News, investigators with the SBI wrote that Dinehart and Davis were cellmates.

According to the warrant, both inmates were present at a routine check around 9:15 p.m. the Sep. 23. On the 24th, however, only Dinehart and two food handlers were seen going in or out of the cell. At one point, Dinehart reportedly told staff that something was wrong with his cellmate. Corrections officers and medical staff went into the cell and found Davis lying in bed with a blanket over him. They removed the blanket and confirmed that he was dead.

Investigators said Davis had a "braided cloth around his neck." They also said Dinehart had "possible defensive wounds" on his face.

The SBI agent investigating Davis' death requested the search warrant for swabs of Dinehart's hands and fingernails, as well as photos of him "to document any abnormalities or injuries."

As of Tuesday, Dinehart did not have any additional charges in the court system, and no official suspects have been named in Davis' death investigation.