Preliminary hearing set for Logan man accused of Millville Canyon stabbing

Booking photo for Ronald Nalepa (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)

LOGAN — A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a 39-year-old Logan man accused of stabbing another man at a transient camp in Millville Canyon. Ronald D. Nalepa has been in jail since being arrested in August.

Nalepa participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday afternoon, appearing by web conference from jail. He was previously charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony; failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, a third-degree felony; and, seven misdemeanors or infractions.

Public defender Diane Pitcher requested the preliminary hearing, where prosecutors will present their evidence in the case. A judge will also determine whether or not to bind Nalepa over for trial.

Judge Angela Fonnesbeck scheduled the hearing for Oct. 1.

Early on the morning of Aug. 26, 911 dispatch operators received a call about the stabbing by an individual, who had driven the alleged victim out of the canyon to a Nibley convenience store. The caller reported the victim was bleeding badly from multiple stab wounds.

The victim was identified as Jesse Kaufman. The 31-year-old Salt Lake City man reportedly had a significant stab wound to the arm.

Police and paramedics responded to the convenience store. They treated Kaufman and transported him to Logan Regional Hospital, where he was later flown by air-ambulance to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

The 911 caller told dispatch operators that Nalepa fled the scene in a red Dodge truck. They had followed his vehicle to Nibley.

Minutes later, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper located a truck matching Nalepa’s description, travelling northbound on US-89/91. The truck continued into Logan and refused to stop when the trooper activated his lights and siren.

Law enforcement continued to chase the vehicle until Nalepa pulled over near 171 W. 100 N. He was taken into custody without incident by Logan City police officers.

Nalepa is being held in the Cache County Jail without bail. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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