The Cache County Attorney’s Office has filed criminal charges against a juvenile in connection with the death of a Logan man who police say was falsely accused of sexual assault in April.
The teen is charged with homicide by assault, a third-degree felony offense. The Herald Journal has decided not to report his name at this time because he is a juvenile.
“Homicide by assault requires the state to prove that the actor caused the death of another person while knowingly committing an assault,” said Cache County Chief Criminal Attorney Spencer Walsh. “The evidence in this case does not rise to the level of murder, where the state would be required to prove that the actor intentionally caused the death of another or that the actor acted under circumstances that clearly demonstrated a depraved indifference toward human life and thereby created a grave risk of death.”
According to court records filed in 1st District Court, the 17-year-old teen went looking for 62-year-old Michael Fife on April 23 after receiving a call from his sister, who allegedly said Fife touched her inappropriately while she was a passenger on a Cache Valley Transit District bus.
“The detectives with Logan City Police Department were able to retrieve video from Logan High School and CVTD bus. The video shows the minor — exit a vehicle, run at (Fife) and immediately make contact with him, knocking him to the ground,” a probable cause statement reads.
The police investigation began just after 3 p.m. that day when police responded to the report of a man who had been assaulted and needed medical attention. Fife was initially transported to Logan Regional Hospital for evaluation, where medical professionals reportedly found Fife had a fractured skull with bleeding and swelling in his brain, reportedly caused by the assault.
Fife was later transferred to McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden and died April 27.
Logan police followed up on the allegations of sexual assault that allegedly occurred on the CVTD bus and said they found no truth to the accusation.