FOUNTAIN GREEN, Utah (ABC4) – Homer Workman, a man charged with manslaughter for the death of 47-year-old Donna Clegg, has died while awaiting trial.
Kelly Taylor Ellis was also charged after Clegg’s death and faces multiple counts, including:
- Criminal Homicide
- Reckless Endangerment
- No Rental Dwelling License
- Failure to Meet Minimum Health and Safety Standards
- Violation of Conditional Use Permit
- Illegal Caretaker Facility
The Provo fire responsible for Clegg’s death occurred in a building in which two people were living, one of whom was Donna Clegg. Clegg was unable to exit the building, which had exterior windows and a door blocked off.
Court documents state that she died from smoke inhalation.
Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire but were able to eliminate electrical or accelerants as causes. The documents state that the tenants had been using candles for light since the electricity had been turned off.
Both Workman and Ellis had been informed by the city that the structure did not meet the necessary living requirements and that even if it did, they would need to obtain a business license.
Neither of them took any of the steps asked of them by the city, according to court documents.
After Workman and Ellis were informed in 2012 that the building could not be used as a residence, Workman began renting the space anyways, and Ellis was reportedly well-aware of the situation.
Workman allegedly had the electricity turned off on May 29, 2018, without telling the tenants, and while had previously described the building as a “death trap” and a “tinderbox,” neither made any effort to remove residents from the building, instead of continuing to accept rent money, according to the documents.
“Defendant Ellis also knew there were no smoke detectors in the building,” the documents state.