By Travis Uresk
Vernal, Ut. On 1/31/24, Officer Murray was dispatched to a domestic violence call at 210 East 600 South in the Ashley Creek Village Apartments.
Dispatch alerted the officer that the complainant could hear a woman screaming and pleading with someone, saying, "Stop hitting me."
Officers arrived on scene and met with the female victim, who stated that she and her boyfriend, 47-year-old Donald Trent Lee, had gotten into an argument after drinking alcohol. Donald was watching a show, and the victim went to put the dog in the bathroom.
Donald went to the back room and started assaulting the victim by punching her in the face, knocking her to the ground, and kicking her repeatedly. He kicked her in the shoulder, the back, and in the head.
The victim showed the officers deep red marks on her upper ribs about the size of a grapefruit. The victim also said Donald stood over her, and she swung at his face to get him off of her. Donald then hit her again, pushed her down in the bathroom, and pulled out some of her hair.
Officer Murray noticed that the victim had splashes of liquid on her jacket and asked her what it was. The victim stated that Donald was drinking and spilled the drink on them both during the altercation.
Just before the police arrived, Donald fled the scene and was stopped by Officer McGaha.
Officer Murray spoke with Donald to get his side of the story. Donald had a scratch underneath his right eye, and a scrape on his nose, and the corner of his left eye was bloodshot as well. When asked about the marks, he said he came home, and his girlfriend began telling him about her night out at the bar.
Donald states that the victim is supposed to be sober and struggles with alcoholism. Donald said they had gotten into an argument about her drinking again, and that's when she began to assault him. He said all of the fighting took place in the living room.
Donald was asked multiple times if the altercation only took place in the living room or anywhere else in the residence, and he kept saying that the living room was the only place where they fought. Officer Murray asked why his hoodie was wet, and he insisted that it was from the victim's drink that she had in her hand.
Officer Murray went into the back bedroom and saw a brown liquid spilled all over the dresser, on the walls, and a broken fan by the bed. The officer spoke with the victim to get her story one more time.
After speaking with the victim, Officer Murray took a look around the apartment and saw no signs of a struggle or a spilled beverage in the living room. The TV was on, and the show Donald was watching was on pause. After reviewing these findings with Cpl Johnstun, they went outside to speak with Donald again.
While speaking with Donald, he was informed that due to the existing evidence and the inconsistencies in his story, he was going to be arrested for assault.
"I explained that his story did not match the liquid being splashed over both himself and the victim, the dresser in the back bedroom, and the walls. In fact, I did not find any signs of spilled beverages in the living room. I found clumps of the victim's hair in the bathroom and was able to determine that the assault had unfolded as she had explained it to us. I explained to Donald that since they are cohabitants, it falls under the cohabitant abuse act and would be classified as domestic violence. I was able to smell the scent of an alcoholic beverage on Donald's person, and after searching him, I found an unopened hard Arnold Palmer lemonade in his front hoodie pocket. Donald said that he had had a couple of alcoholic beverages as he watched his show."~ Officer Murray
Donald was then transported to the Uintah County Jail.
At the jail, a records check showed that Donald was an alcohol-interdicted person as part of his parole status.