51-year-old man arrested in shooting death of Washington County resident

Southern Utah

WASHINGTON COUNTY (ABC4 News) – A 51-year-old man has been booked into the Washington County Jail on suspicion of murder after police responded to a call for help Tuesday afternoon.

In a press release issued by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to a report of suspicious circumstances in Apple Valley around 1:40 p.m.

The caller refused to provide dispatch with any initial information and kept saying they would speak with the deputy once they arrived. Despite attempts from the emergency dispatcher, the caller failed to provide details other than a general location in a rural area.  

Deputies attempted to locate the area based on the limited description provided.  After several failed attempts, a deputy was able to convince the caller to provide a first name only.  Just before 3 p.m. the caller stated they needed help from the County Sheriff and said: “We are harmless and need help from the County Sheriff.” 

Prior to disconnecting with the deputy, the woman instructed him to follow a dirt road, through a gate, past the trees, where deputies would find them. 

Due to the caller’s unwillingness to provide details of why they needed help, and the suspicious requests for a deputy to respond to an isolated area, the Sheriff’s Office Administration elected to delay the response of deputies until additional information could be gathered.

Just after 3 p.m., the caller explained they needed deputies to respond on a death investigation and the victim had possibly been dead for several hours.  

Deputies and investigators responded to a residence located on the Plataclay Mine, on Coyote Road in Apple Valley.  Upon arriving on scene, investigators found the body of a 50-year-old male who appeared to have died as a result of being shot.

Detectives interviewed a resident at the home, Jason Howard Clinger, who admitted to shooting the victim following an altercation. 

Clinger was arrested for one count of first-degree murder and is currently being held on $100,000 bond at Purgatory Correctional Facility.

This investigation is still ongoing. The name of the victim has not been released.

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