CRIME

Utah inmate serving life sentence is charged with murder a second time

Mar 5, 2024, 6:11 PM

A Provo man is being accused of murder for the second time in two years. (Lynn Sessions, Google Map...

A Provo man is being accused of murder for the second time in two years. (Lynn Sessions, Google Maps)

(Lynn Sessions, Google Maps)

GUNNISON — A Provo man is being accused of murder for the second time in two years.

Gage Anthony Dinehart, 23, who is already serving a sentence of 15 years to life in prison, is now accused of killing his cellmate shortly after arriving at the Central Utah Correctional Facility.

Dinehart was charged Tuesday in 6th District Court with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.

In May 2023, Dinehart pleaded guilty to shooting and killing his mother, 41-year-old Nicki Dinehart, nearly a year earlier in Pleasant Grove. Police say he had been arguing with his mother, was agitated and demanded money from her before shooting her three times at close range in the middle of the road. On June 20, 2023, he was sentenced to up to life in the Utah State Prison.

Just three months later, on Sept. 24, 2023, the Utah Department of Corrections announced that Steven Davis, 66, was found unresponsive in his cell and pronounced deceased by medical personnel. No cause of death was given at the time. Davis had been incarcerated since 1983 for a sex offense and parole violations.

In October, KSL.com reported that Davis’ cellmate at the time of his death was Dinehart.

After Davis’ death, investigators reviewed surveillance video showing both Dinehart and Davis going into their cell “after lockdown the previous night” on Sept. 23, according to a search warrant affidavit served during the investigation. Both men were also accounted for during a check about 9:15 p.m.

About 6:30 a.m. the next day, “the cell was unsecured. From reviewing the surveillance videos, Dinehart was the only person seen going in and out of the cell other than two food handlers who took food inside. (Corrections) staff was alerted by Dinehart that something was wrong with his cellmate. When (corrections) staff entered the room, they observed the deceased male lying in his bed with a blanket over his body. Medical staff moved the blanket and confirmed that Dinehart’s cellmate was deceased,” the affidavit states.

Investigators say Davis was found with a braided cloth around his neck. But staffers also “observed possible defensive wounds on Dinehart’s face,” the warrant says.

An initial appearance for Dinehart’s new charges is scheduled for March 27.

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Utah inmate serving life sentence is charged with murder a second time