LAYTON, Utah (ABC4) – The Layton man accused of killing his wife and her parents before calling 911 and posting on Facebook could be facing the death penalty.
Jeremy Lake Bailey, 34, was arrested after allegedly shooting his three family members and three of their four dogs in their home near 1800 East Gentile Street on Friday, May 19.
Bailey has now been charged with three counts of capital criminal homicide aggravated murder, two first-degree felony counts of felony discharge of a firearm with serious bodily injury, and three third-degree felony counts of torture of a companion animal.
According to charging documents, Bailey had called 911 to report a “murder-suicide.” He allegedly told police that he had shot his wife, his mother-in-law, his father-in-law, and three of the four family dogs.
Police arrived at the Layton home while Bailey was still on the phone with 911 operators, where he was taken into custody.
Officers found the bodies of his wife, Anastasia Stevens, 36, and her parents, Donald, 73, and Becky, 61, Stevens, in various upstairs rooms of the home. According to charging documents, both Anastasia and Becky were found with two gunshot wounds and Donald was found with one.
Through an investigation, officers believe Bailey shot and killed his family and left for an outdoor sporting goods store to purchase more ammunition before posting about what he had done on his wife’s Facebook page and calling 911.
Charging documents say Bailey had a “reddish/brown substance” that appeared to be dried blood on his pant leg. While in a holding cell, police said Bailey could be heard saying “I can’t believe I did it.”
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Utah is one of 27 states that currently allows the use of capital punishment. According to the DC-based Death Penalty Information Center, the last time the death penalty was carried out in Utah was on June 18, 2010, when the state executed Ronnie Gardner by firing squad.
Jerrod Baum, the man who was found guilty last year of murdering two teens, was the last man who faced capital punishment in Utah. The charges were eventually amended in September 2021 to no longer seek the death penalty after the prosecutor said: “It’s time to change course.”
Since then, a coalition of Utah district attorneys and county prosecutors have moved to repeal the death penalty in the state.