West Valley City homicide suspect said he was ‘waiting for police to call him’

May 4, 2022, 3:34 PM | Updated: 4:50 pm

Deon Jennings picture (Credit: West Valley Police)...

Deon Jennings picture (Credit: West Valley Police)

(Credit: West Valley Police)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah –  Saturday’s fatal stabbing in West Valley City started as a fight between two family members over who should leave an apartment.

Deon Jennings, 30, was booked for murder charges after allegedly killing 59-year-old Willie Houston that night, according to arresting documents.

West Valley City police responded to multiple calls to the Aspenwood Apartments, where a man with stab wounds sought help and told people his nephew had stabbed him.

When police arrived, the victim was in critical condition and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Houston’s girlfriend told police that the nephew was Jennings, and police began their search.

On Monday, Houston’s daughter told police that she was receiving messages from Jennings after seeing news articles about the stabbing.

He told her that he was sorry about how “things had gone down” and regretted what had happened. 

She asked why Jennings didn’t turn himself in to police, and he said “he was waiting for them to call him.”

Police said they were able to contact Jennings through her.

Jennings told police that he was supposed to stay Friday night at his aunt’s apartment so he could go to rehab on Saturday morning, but he changed his mind last minute.

Instead, he arrived at the apartment on Saturday, but his aunt wasn’t there, only Houston was.

The two started to drink and relax for the day until Houston received a call from an unknown person, which made him angry. After the phone call, the two got into an argument about who should leave the apartment.

As Jennings was packing up his stuff, he felt dizzy and thought that Houston had hit him on the head. He noticed that Houston ran out the front door, so he grabbed a random object and chased him outside.

Houston tried to keep Jennings inside by locking the door, but Jennings pushed him to the ground. Jennings said they started to fight, and he hit Houston in his back at least once with the object.

Jennings then got up, ran into the apartment to grab his things, and exited through the back door where he went nearby Speedway to grab more beer.

Police asked him why he didn’t call 911 or help Houston, but Jennings said he didn’t care.



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West Valley City homicide suspect said he was ‘waiting for police to call him’