UPDATED: Man pleads guilty in wife’s 2017 Park City hotel murder
A man who once played professional football on Monday pleaded guilty to murdering his wife at a Park City hotel, opting for a plea agreement with prosecutors rather than a trial.
Anthony McClanahan, 47, entered the plea during an appearance in 3rd District Court at Silver Summit. McClanahan in the plea admitted killing Keri Colleen McClanahan in November of 2017. The killing occurred at the Park Regency hotel in Prospector. McClanahan used a bracelet knife in the attack on his wife. She suffered cuts to her neck and wounds consistent with her attempting to defend herself, prosecutors have said.
The Park City Police Department arrested McClanahan shortly after the killing. Prosecutors have said a Police Department sergeant found him at 1:30 a.m. in a landscaped area outside the hotel on his stomach crawling before he stood up to wave down the sergeant. He told the sergeant two or three men attacked himself, his wife and his baby, the prosecutors have said. Officers found the wife unresponsive in the hotel room. The medical examiner who investigated the death and evidence gathered at the scene suggested she “put up a significant struggle before her death,” prosecutors have said.
Prosecutors as part of the plea deal agreed to drop an enhancement to the murder charge based on a dangerous weapon being used. They also agreed to remove a designation of domestic violence in the case.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office said prosecutors in Salt Lake County and Maricopa County, Arizona, will dismiss cases against McClanahan 30 days after he is sentenced. The Salt Lake County case involves a count of aggravated kidnapping. The prosecutors in those jurisdictions agreed to the plea deal crafted by Summit County prosecutors and McClanahan’s side.
Attorneys for McClanahan at an earlier point in the case indicated he intended to argue he had a diminished mental capacity as part of the defense.
Judge Patrick Corum is scheduled to sentence McClanahan on April 29, with a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. He is being held at a jail in Salt Lake County.
Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson released a prepared statement about the case addressing the killing in broad terms.
“A vibrant human life was violently taken. This guilty plea and prison sentence does not erase the pain or diminish the loss K.C.’s family and friends will continue to feel for the rest of their lives,” Olson said, using the name the victim often went by.
The county attorney also praised the work of the Police Department, saying it was a “thorough, professional and excellent investigation.” She said the Park City agency “worked very hard and built a solid case.”
John Johnson, the court-appointed public defender who represented McClanahan, declined to discuss the details of the case. He said the McClanahan side reviewed the case against him thoroughly before reaching the agreement.
McClanahan played college football at Washington State University and went on to play in the Canadian Football League.
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