Roommate was a capital murder suspect

- LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A soldier arrested for burglary is now facing capital murder charges.
David Strickland was arrested in January for burglarizing his former roommate’s home.

But then police in south Texas learned of his arrest and claim evidence found in Layton linked him to a murder of a young woman and the attempted murder of her same-sex partner.
His Utah attorney was surprised to learn of his alleged past.

“He served his country in the military,” says Attorney Clayton Simms. “(It is) completely out of character, not the person I’ve come to know.”

Strickland is back in Texas where he is facing capital murder charges.

But for the past year, Strickland was living in a Layton home that he shared with several others including Nancy Melchor.

"I don't know anything about it,” says Melchor. “I didn't know anything about it when he came here. None of us did.”

His troubles began with his arrest in January by Layton police.

"It turned out he went to his ex-roommate home, stole numerous items including firearms,” says Lt. Jason Hinojosa.

When police in Portland Texas learned of his arrest a search warrant of the Layton home linked Strickland to the Texas crime.

“They (Texas police) asked us if we were in possession of certain items which we were,” says Lt. Hinojosa. “They were relevant to their case.”

Those items seized included a handgun and black gloves. Lt. Hinojosa says ballistic tests matched bullet casings found at the crime scene. The young woman who survived identified the suspect as wearing black gloves with the “Under Armour” logo. Texas police claim residue from the gunshot was found on the gloves.

Back in Layton, Melchor whose son’s guns were allegedly stolen by Strickland says they were completely fooled.

“How am I supposed to know,” says Melchor. “You really don't know how people are. You really don't know people."

Strickland's attorney, Clayton Simms was also surprised. He hasn't talked with Strickland since he was taken back to Texas. But he says he’s been in touch with his family members.

“They obviously are very concerned about the charges and the nature of the charges particularly you're in Texas and charged with murder,” says Simms. “It's a very serious allegation.”

Strickland was due in a Utah courtroom next month. But Simms doubts he’ll ever return to Utah to face the charges.

More Stories

Latest News

Video Center