Park City murder: Killer’s apology ‘pathetic,’ victim’s family says |

Park City murder: Killer’s apology ‘pathetic,’ victim’s family says

Summit County's 3rd District Court.
Park Record file photo

Anthony McClanahan, the former professional football player who murdered his wife in Park City in 2017, on Monday told a 3rd District Court judge he missed the victim, Keri Colleen McClanahan, saying he was sorry and calling her his “soul mate” as he was sentenced to prison for a term of 15 years to life.

The family of the slain woman, though, described McClanahan’s courtroom apology as hollow. Heather Gauf, one of the victim’s sisters, told reporters afterward perhaps the apology from McClanahan was meant to work in his favor in later parole hearings.

“Pathetic. … Even the judge said it was not sincere in any way,” Gauf said shortly after the sentencing.

She said the prison sentence was “a little bit of relief” for the family. Many members of the victim’s family were in the courtroom on Monday. Some provided emotional comments to Judge Patrick Corum just before he rendered the sentence. The judge said he does not expect McClanahan to be released from prison.

“Our thoughts to the court were mostly a plea that he would serve out the minimum of the 15 years and, you know, our hoping for a life sentence. … That was really our goal here today. Sounds like we’ve achieved that, actually,” Gauf said.

Gauf described her sister as someone who “loved people and animals.” Keri Colleen McClanahan, who went by the name K.C., was the youngest of 10 children in the family. She said her sister and McClanahan married in early 2017. McClanahan within months exhibited violent behavior, Gauf said, describing that he hit Keri Colleen McClanahan that September. The first physical act against her followed long-running verbal abuse, Gauf said. Her sister returned home afterward.

“She packed her bags that night and moved from Arizona, drove straight through to Washington state, and worried that he might be following her. She did make it home successfully that time,” Gauf said.

Keri Colleen McClanahan enjoyed Park City and planned to move to the area, Gauf said. She said she intended to stay in Park City for a winter. The environment and the athletic opportunities were appealing to her, Gauf said.

“She stopped here because she loved snowboarding and loved the mountains, and hiking and rock climbing. She was a very outdoorsy person, and she loved the people here,” Gauf said. “Those were some of her last texts, were saying she could absolutely live here. So she was going to be here for the winter.”

Bail was posted for McClanahan in a separate criminal case, a charge of child kidnapping in Salt Lake County, and he pursued Keri Colleen McClanahan quickly after his release, she said. Keri Colleen McClanahan was in Arizona at the time before she took the trip to Park City. McClanahan killed her with a bracelet knife at the Park Regency hotel in Prospector.

“She came up here. She thought it was safe here. She had other friends here,” Gauf said. “And said she was wanting to find a job and stay here for the wintertime and then be back home in Washington during the summer.”

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