Violent act gets 20 years

Harrison sentenced for attempted murder

A Montezuma Creek Utah man was sentenced Wednesday to the maximum recommended sentence of 20 years in prison for the stabbing and attempted murder of a Montezuma County man last year.

Jeremy Harrison, 25, was convicted of stabbing Evaristo McKinney, now 22, in the shoulder with a steak knife at a Montezuma County residence in the early hours of July 19 of last year.

“This was an incredibly violent and senseless act by the defendant,” said Andrew Hughes, assistant district attorney, adding Harrison did not know anyone at the party.

Witnesses said Harrison arrived with a partial bottle of vodka at a gathering at a residence in the 5700 block of County Road 25, saying he had just gotten kicked out of a residence by his girlfriend, and he wanted to hang out.

Harrison was turned away, but returned later with two men.

Witnesses say Harrison then rushed into the home and stabbed McKinney in the shoulder. Harrison was tackled and subdued by bystanders until Montezuma County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived to arrest him.

Representing Harrison, attorney Katie Telfer said her client was extremely intoxicated and has no recollection of that night.

“He is sorry for what happened,” she said. “He doesn’t know what happened that night and probably never will.”

Noting Harrison had just been released from prison and should have been on probation at the time of the incident, District Judge Todd Plewe sentenced Harrison to the maximum recommended 20 years in prison, saying he had to protect the community.

The victim testified in a preliminary hearing in September 2011, saying Harrison rushed him without provocation and stabbed him to the hilt with a knife just above his left collar bone and a second time in the shoulder.

“I didn’t feel anything,” McKinney had said. “I think I was in shock.”

McKinney said he was taken to the emergency room where a doctor declared his situation “life or death” due to arterial bleeding. He spent two days in the intensive care unit and underwent physical therapy.

Harrison had entered into a plea agreement with the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office Feb. 23, pleading guilty to a felony court of criminal attempt to commit murder in the second degree and a sentence-enhancing count of crime of violence. In exchange, nine other counts were dismissed.

The felony charge also carries a mandatory term of five years parole. Harrison must also pay restitution.

Reach Reid Wright at