Utah man beat friend to death with chili can in front of child, prosecutors say

The suspect is being held without bail at the Emery County jail.

(Emery County Sheriff’s Office) A Utah man is suspected of beating another man to death with a can of chili.

A St. George man has been charged with murder after prosecutors say he drunkenly beat his friend to death with a can of chili in front of a child.

Police originally reported that the weapon used was a can of soup, but charging documents filed Wednesday in 7th District Court state it was a can of chili.

Zachary James Tuttle, 37, also faces charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated child abuse/domestic violence, obstruction of justice and intoxication. The name of the man killed has not been released.

According to charging documents, shortly before midnight on Saturday, a 14-year-old boy called police to report that Tuttle and Tuttle’s friend had been drinking together at a Castle Dale home when they began fighting, and that Tuttle was beating the friend “pretty bad.”

According to the child, the fight began when Tuttle insisted the boy drink with the men, and the boy refused. When the friend tried to intervene, Tuttle began beating the friend.

The boy told police that Tuttle backhanded the child in the mouth, knocking him into a wall and causing his lip to bleed. The boy said that Tuttle told him to “go sit on the couch or he would kill him,” then returned to where the friend was on the floor and started punching him in the face.

Eventually, the child was able to run from the house to a nearby business, where he called police.

According to a sheriff’s deputy, when he arrived at the home near 100 North and 300 East, Tuttle told him his friend was fine. But when the deputy entered the home, he noticed “a lot of blood in the hallway” and found the victim “lying face up in a pool of blood.”

The man had no pulse, and a can covered in blood was found next to the body. “It appeared it was used to hit the victim,” according to a probable cause statement.

Tuttle is being held without bail in Emery County jail.

Justin Scaccy

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