Headlines Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Charges yet to be filed in death of young mother
By Sean Hales
A Perry man is awaiting arraignment in First District Court following his arrest last week in connection with the death of his ex-wife.
According to information from the court, charges have yet to be filed against Spencer Gerlach, 20, in the alleged murder of Keltsie Gerlach, 19. A clerk with the court said that if charges are not filed by tomorrow, Thursday, April 23, Spencer Gerlach would be released from the Box Elder County Jail. Information about the status of the case was not available as of press time. The county attorney did not respond to a late request for information on Tuesday.
Keltsie Gerlach, 19, was discovered dead from multiple stab wounds in her apartment on the corner of 700 South and 700 East following a 911 call made at about 12:33 p.m.
According to Brigham City interim Police Chief Mike Nelsen, the ex-husband, Spencer Gerlach, 20, called to report that his wife was dead, and allegedly confessed to the crime at that time. The 15-month-old child of Keltsie and Spencer Gerlach was found asleep and unharmed in another room of the apartment. The State Department of Child and Family Services took custody of the child, who has since been turned over Keltsie Gerlach’s family.
Spencer Gerlach was booked into the Box Elder County Jail on charges of first degree felony murder.
An investigation into Brigham City police records didn’t turn up any history of domestic violence with the couple, and police have not said whether they have uncovered a motive outside of a domestic dispute. The couple had been divorced for about a month. Divorce papers filed in First District Court indicated Spencer Gerlach planned on moving out of state to attend school.
Police could not confirm allegations that Spencer Gerlach has Autism Spectrum Disorder or any other mental disorder, but did say last Friday that they were investigating the possibility.
Keltsie Gerlach was from Grace, Idaho. She graduated from Box Elder High School and married Spencer Gerlach in 2013. In January 2015, Keltsie’s Facebook page indicates she began working at the UPS Store and quit being a “stay-at-home parent.” She was taking classes through Independence University in Salt Lake City in business administration and technology.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money for Keltsie Gerlach’s daughter at www.gofundme.com/KeltsieAddie.
BC moves to enforce ordinance on burned buildings
By Nelson Phillips
Brigham City officials made a decision to move forward with plans to deal with several fire damaged buildings, and also heard Mayor Vincent present his 2015-2016 budget proposal last Thursday.
Four burned out buildings: the Bott Monument building, the Merrill Planing Mill, the Baron Woolen Mill and the Twin Pines apartment building were the subject of discussion at a special work session held just prior to Thursday’s City Council Meeting. At the meeting, Community Development Director Jared Johnson and City Attorney Kirk Morgan gave a short presentation that concluded the city deems the buildings to be safety and liability hazards. The officials also reported their plan to handle the situation, requiring the buildings’ owners to either submit plans to fix the buildings or begin tearing them down within 60 days of receiving written notice from the city.
Johnson showed slides of the buildings, paying particular attention to areas where the buildings were crumbling while making a case for safety issues presented by the structures. The presentation also highlighted an area on the Bott building where graffiti artists had climbed the walls and painted near the ceiling.
“There are two main code sections that apply here,” said Morgan, “the public nuisance section of our city code, and then there’s the uniform code for the abatement of dangerous buildings that we’ve adopted. Both of those apply to these situations.”
Perry, Willard meet to start communication about water treatment facility
By Nelson Phillips
Perry City Council and Mayor Karen Cronin invited Willard City officials to a work session at last week in order to give a financial accounting for the jointly-owned Wastewater Treatment Facility, which had heretofore been administered by Perry City. The meeting was attended by Willard Councilmembers Del Fredde and Robert Beebe.
Court documents from a case involving the two cities and the water treatment facility required Perry to provide a financial accounting of the facility. Perry City’s Shanna Johnson, who has been administering the finances of the plant for the last four years was asked to provide a summary.
Cronin added that the hoped the meeting would serve another purpose, also.
“The first part of this work session is meant to help start communication, a dialogue,” Cronin said.
Johnson began her presentation with a timeline of events leading up to the creation of the sewer board, and asserting that Perry City was asked to administer operations for convenience’s sake.
“On December 29 , there was a suggestion that Perry City handle the books, personnel, minutes and posting agendas,” said Johnson, who also stated that she was requested by Sewer Board Chairman Steve Pettingill to create a powerpoint presentation reviewing the inter-local agreement, personnel and finance.