Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 28, 2013
Robbery suspect dies after apparent suicide in maximum security cell

A man accused of robbing a business and three people last week died in an apparent suicide in his jail cell Monday night.

Robert Shutt, 37, was discovered lying unconscious on the floor of his maximum-security cell at about 5 p.m. Monday by a guard. The guard went into the cell and tried to revive Shutt with CPR until EMTs arrived.

Shutt was pronounced dead at 5:25 p.m. He was alone in his cell at the time of his apparent self-strangulation. It is not yet known how long Shutt was unconscious before he was discovered by the guard.

He declined to provide details on how Shutt strangled himself

An autopsy will be conducted to determine how long before he was found that Shutt had strangled himself, according to Lt. Travis Scharmann of the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office.

He declined to provide details on how Shutt strangled himself.

Shutt was arrested last Wednesday after an incident at a business in North Tooele and through a nearby mobile home park. Shutt allegedly demanded a wallet and keys from a female employee of Dependable Oxygen Company on 1280 North while pointing a gun at her, though the weapon appeared to be fake.

After getting the woman’s keys and wallet, Shutt allegedly rode his bike to Overpass Point Trailer Park, where witnesses told police he approached one home and pointed his “gun” at a woman there, then went to another mobile home and demanded car keys from a woman at that residence, but fled when he saw her husband in the trailer.

About a block north of that mobile home, Shutt allegedly knocked on the door of a third mobile home and pointed his gun at the woman who opened it, and then at a second woman who came out from another room. The first woman grabbed the gun and tried to shut the door on Shutt’s hand, but he pulled away and ran, according to witness reports.

Tooele police located Shutt going north on the railroad tracks near the mobile home park and arrested him. Employees from Dependable Oxygen Company identified him as the man whom the initial victim had identified.

Shutt was booked into the Tooele County Detention Center on three counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated assault. Court charges were also filed on those counts, with the three counts of aggravated robbery being first-degree felonies and the two aggravated assault counts being third-degree felonies.

Shutt was scheduled to make his next court appearance in 3rd District Court next Tuesday.

Scharmann said Shutt was examined upon being booked and displayed no signs of emotional or mental issues, or of being overly  upset.

“They did a medical screening on him and he showed nothing,” Scharmann said. “He didn’t appear to be [overly upset], as far as we know.”

Scharmann said an investigation is currently under way to review policies to see if any “cracks in the procedural concrete” enabled Shutt to kill  himself. All procedures examined so far in the investigation show they were correctly followed, he said.

According to state court records, Shutt, who listed his address as Gunnison but was living with a relative in Tooele, has had more than a dozen felony cases filed against him, most for theft-related incidents.

The news of his death was withheld until Wednesday morning until officers notified his family, said Scharmann.

Lisa Christensen

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Lisa covers primarily crime and courts, military affairs, Stansbury Park government and transportation issues. She is a graduate of Utah State University, where she double-majored in journalism and music, and Grantsville High School.

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