NewsFox 13 Investigates


FOX 13 Investigates: Utah soldier discharged after domestic violence charges

Posted: 9:43 PM, Jun 30, 2024
Updated: 2024-07-01 18:54:37-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah National Guard has discharged a soldier who has been convicted of domestic violence and related offenses and who was on recordings saying slurs and insults against presidents Obama and Biden, according to the man’s ex-wife and victim.

FOX 13 News has been reporting on the case of former Utah Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Christian Marx for more than 2 ½ years. In 2021, he was charged with assaulting his then-wife, Erica Lukes.

About three years after he was first charged with crimes, the Utah National Guard opted in February of this year to issue Marx a general discharge, according to Lukes, who said she was told such by her National Guard victim’s advocate. A Utah National Guard spokesman declined to confirm that to FOX 13.

It was a reversal for the National Guard. Spokesmen had previously said commanders were waiting on the civilian courts to adjudicate Marx’s charges.

“I definitely do question though, why [the discharge] has taken such a long time,” Lukes said in a recent interview with FOX 13.

A general discharge would allow Marx to keep his veteran's benefits.


Then in April, with other charges still pending, Marx was cited for domestic violence against a second woman, this time in Centerville. Days later, he was arrested again and charged with a felony for violation of a jail release order.

Marx would later tell a judge he went back to the woman’s apartment when she was not there to retrieve clothes, but the terms of his release for the previous domestic violence citation said he was to have no contact with the woman and to stay away from her residence.

Marx spent 34 days in the Davis County jail before he could secure his release. In May, he reached an agreement with prosecutors in Salt Lake City for the assaults against Lukes. Marx pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of domestic violence assault. A second count was dismissed.

The judge sentenced Marx to time served – even though those days he spent in jail were for a different victim.

Lukes said that’s not enough.

“I believe, without a doubt, my life is and will continue to be in danger as will be his latest victim,” Lukes told the judge at Marx’s sentencing hearing.

Marx assured the judge he would have no more contact with Lukes.

“If you do,” Third District Court Judge Barry Lawrence warned Marx, “and it comes back to me, then all bets are off and you’re going to spend a year in jail.”

Back in Davis County, on June 10, Marx reached another deal with prosecutors. The violation of the jail release agreement was reduced to a misdemeanor. Marx pleaded guilty.

Second District Judge Ronald Russell again gave Marx credit for the 34 days in jail – no additional incarceration. Marx must serve 18 months probation.

During the hearing, Marx apologized for violating the order and summarized his military service.

“I did two combat tours in Iraq; combat tour in Bagram,” he said.

“Thank you for your service,” Russell replied.


The Utah National Guard also declined a FOX 13 interview request to discuss its separation from Marx and public records requests seeking copies of its investigations into Marx.

Besides the criminal charges in civilian court, Lukes had supplied the national guard with recordings she made.

“That f___ing Sudanese ni____ and his f___ing white f___ing wigger tied our hands behind our backs,” Marx is heard on a recording Lukes made on Nov. 7, 2020, the same day the Associated Press called Joe Biden the winner of the U.S. presidential election. Marx was talking about his time as a soldier in Afghanistan.

“That f___ing needs to get f___ing executed,” Marx continued. “And his f___ing Biden f___ing bully — f___ing both of them f___ing ni_____.

“F___ing Biden. I f___ing hate his guts. If I ever see him, if I ever see him in person God forbid, God forbid, I am going to insult the president and beat the f___ out of him.”

Lukes made another recording on Nov. 13, 2020.

“I have no issues f___ing taking a gun and starting shooting,” Marx said, “start shooting left-wing mother f___ers at their rallies. No problem at all.”

According to documents, Meanwhile, Lawrence dismissed a felony gun possession charge against Marx. That count alleged Marx fired a pistol on the national guard range in 2021 after a protective order had been issued against him. Marx had pleaded not guilty.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office had said witnesses were on vacation or out of the country due to military deployments. Lawrence left open the chance for prosecutors to refile the charge. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told FOX 13 his office hasn’t yet determined if it will refile.

The dismissal was a blow to Lukes. She had hoped a felony conviction and a permanent loss of firearms rights that go with it would offer her additional protection.

“After the dismissal of the felony case,” Lukes said, “I literally couldn't get out of bed for two weeks.”

“I feel more afraid for my life than I did back” when she was married to Marx, she said.

Through his attorney, Marx has declined interview with FOX 13.

Marx had pleaded not guilty to the domestic violence citation in Centerville Justice Court. That charge was dismissed Thursday but with a note saying – because he now has prior domestic violence convictions – the charge may be refiled in state court.