LOCAL NEWS

Man pleads guilty but mentally ill to stabbing Tinder date, elderly woman

Jan 19, 2024, 2:43 PM | Updated: 2:44 pm

Surveillance photo of Kane Thomas Fairbank, who was sentenced to prison Friday after emotional test...

Surveillance photo of Kane Thomas Fairbank, who was sentenced to prison Friday after emotional testimony from his two women whom he brutally attacked in Bountiful. (Davis County Sheriff's Office)

(Davis County Sheriff's Office)

BOUNTIFUL — A man has pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted aggravated murder and another count of attempted murder, almost two years after stabbing two women in Bountiful.

The man, identified as Kane Fairbank, was 18 at the time of the stabbings.

Utah man stabs woman in Tinder meet up in ‘an attempt to kill her’

Fairbanks pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the two first-degree felony charges of attempted aggravated murder and attempted murder, but pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated kidnapping, and obstructing justice.

On May 12, 2022, court documents state Fairbanks met up with a woman he’d met on Tinder for a date at a park near Bountiful. He lured her to his car and began attacking her with a knife.

The woman escaped the vehicle and fled for help. As she was running, Fairbanks stabbed her in the back.

Fairbanks fled the area and found an elderly woman whom he also stabbed multiple times before being subdued by a citizen and taken into custody.

In the guilty plea, Fairbanks stated he committed the stabbings “while under the effects of an episode caused by schizoaffective disorder with psychotic affect.” (sic)

Court documents explain the guilty plea was a result of a plea bargain between Fairbanks and the prosecuting attorney.

It states, “Defendant will plead guilty but mentally ill to amended count 1: attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony and count 2; attempted murder, a first-degree felony. All remaining charges will be dismissed with prejudice…..The parties stipulate that the defendant was mentally ill at the time of the offense and that the plea shall be taken pursuant to 77-16a-103 as constituted on May 12, 2022. While I understand that I have a right to be sentenced under the current version of Utah Code Ann. § 77-16a-103, based on this plea agreement and concessions made by the state as part of it, I knowingly waive this right and am stipulating to be sentenced under the statute as it existed at the time I committed the above offenses.”

Utah law allows for modified sentencing for individuals who plead guilty but mentally ill.

The plea deal also called for a presentence investigation report, which is paperwork a judge can use to determine the right sentence for a defendant in a court case. The report is usually conducted by a probation officer, social worker, or psychologist within the probation department.

Another stipulation of the plea agreement was that the sentences in this case will run consecutively to each other resulting in a sentence of 18 years to life in prison.

Utah Code explains that for those who enter a guilty plea with a mental condition, the parties may determine whether the defendant did have a mental condition at the time of the crime and whether the defendant could benefit from treatment. The court will then consider if the mental condition is supported by enough evidence.

After that, the court can either accept the defendant’s plea of guilty with a mental condition or not accept it.

If the court determines the defendant could benefit from treatment, Utah Code outlines several different possibilities: sentencing could be deferred, treatment and supervision could be given as agreed on, and if the offense was a felony as it was in this case, the defendant could be placed in a “secure setting” for up to one year.

The court may determine that the defendant is eligible for supervised release as part of their treatment and supervision recommendations. For a felony, that would mean supervised release by Adult Probation and Parole for a period of up to one year or mental health supervision by a public or private entity that provides behavioral health services and is approved by the court.

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Man pleads guilty but mentally ill to stabbing Tinder date, elderly woman