Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

Duchesne High student charged in knife attack on classmate

By Geoff Liesik, Deseret News

Published: Thu, May 15 5:07 p.m. MDT

 Leland Patrick King, 18, was charged Thursday, May, 15, 2014, in 8th District Court with aggravated assault on school premise, a first-degree felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon on school premises, a class B misdemeanor. King is accused of stabbing a 17-year-old classmate three times during a May, 14, 2014, fight at Duchesne High School.

Leland Patrick King, 18, was charged Thursday, May, 15, 2014, in 8th District Court with aggravated assault on school premise, a first-degree felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon on school premises, a class B misdemeanor. King is accused of stabbing a 17-year-old classmate three times during a May, 14, 2014, fight at Duchesne High School.

(Duchesne County Jail)

DUCHESNE — A name-calling incident during gym class apparently led to a stabbing Wednesday at Duchesne High School, according to investigators.

Leland Patrick King was charged Thursday in 8th District Court with aggravated assault, a first-degree felony, due to the severity of the victim's injuries and the fact that the alleged attack took place on school grounds, Duchesne County Attorney Stephen Foote said.

King, 18, is also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school premises, a class B misdemeanor.

Witnesses told investigators that King and a 17-year-old student were in gym class when they got into a fight on the football field at Duchesne High after the younger student called King "a few names," Duchesne County Sheriff's Chief Deputy David Boren said.

The teacher and other students separated King and his classmate, and both were told to report to the office, charging documents state. King went into the locker room to change, followed by the 17-year-old, whose name has not been released.

"(The 17-year-old) exited a few seconds later stating that he had been stabbed," the charges state.

Responding deputies determined that the boy had been stabbed twice in the back and once in the right arm, Boren said. He was taken to Uintah Basin Medical Center in Roosevelt and then flown to a Salt Lake-area hospital where he underwent surgery Wednesday night.

"He's off the ventilator today but is still listed in critical condition," Boren said Thursday afternoon.

Investigators spoke with one witness who said he saw King walk out of the locker room after the stabbing and drop a knife. The student said King picked the knife up and walked toward the parking lot, the charges state.

Another student said he saw King get into a car in an apparent attempt to leave the school.

"(The witness) opened the passenger door and took the keys out of the ignition," charging documents state.

Deputies took King into custody a short time later. He was formally booked Thursday into the Duchesne County Jail, where he was being held without bail.

Investigators have executed search warrants on King's car and on his home in Fruitland, Duchesne County. Evidence collected during those searches and at the scene of the stabbing have been sent to the state crime lab for testing.

If convicted of the aggravated assault charge, King faces a possible sentence of five years to life in prison. His first court appearance is set for Monday.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com, Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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1. John Marx
Layton, UT,
May 15, 2014

I would like to know if bullying played a role in this incident. Not that it would justify it, but it would help explain it.

2. M.V.
Orem, UT,
May 15, 2014

Actually the 2 are good friends.

3. sherlock holmes
Eastern, UT,
May 16, 2014

This kid has ruined his life now. At least the next 5-10 years. One hopes the other will recover.

Why did he have a knife? Why did he use it? Will be interesting to learn his background and behavioral traits. Which we will - at the trial.

4. One opinion
west jordan, UT,
May 16, 2014

The two angry young men needed to be escorted to the principal's office - not sent. The physical fight may have been broken up, but the anger was still present.

5. FanOfTheSith
Vernal, UT,
May 16, 2014

Extreme anger, getting out of hand and someone didn't even think about the consequence that he would be facing later on which will be affecting him for the rest of his life, just because of "stupid juvenile temper." Both Duchesne and Fruitland are beautiful towns although Fruitland is more isolated with its residents more scattered between each other. My heart goes out to the stabbing victim and his family and Godspeed to his full recovery.