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Thursday, November 25, 2021

Sword-wielding Utah man charged with holding woman hostage

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A Utah man is accused of holding a woman captive in his home and torturing her by depriving her of food and sleep for nearly two weeks, authorities said.

Garman Shaun Cunningham, 50, was taken into custody following a dramatic standoff Friday in which he threw objects and fired a shot at officers from his home in West Valley City then came out wielding a sword, news outlet KSL-TV reported.

“Garman eventually exited the residence while armed with a sword,” police wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

Officers used “less lethal force” on him, prompting him to drop the sword and flee on foot. A K-9 caught up with him and was able to bring him to the ground, authorities said.

Police said that they responded to the home on a tip that a woman had been held hostage there since Nov. 1.

The unidentified woman told authorities that Cunningham repeatedly raped her during that time.

“The victim felt that if they told Garman that they did not want to have sexual intercourse that Garman would most likely kill them,” police said.

Garman Shaun Cunningham was taken into custody following a dramatic standoff in which he threw objects and fired a shot at officers from his home in West Valley City then came out wielding a sword.
Garman Shaun Cunningham was taken into custody following a dramatic standoff in which he threw objects and fired a shot at officers from his home in West Valley City then came out wielding a sword.
Christopher Sadowski

She also told authorities that she was not allowed to sleep and only offered a little amount of food.

“The victim also reports that Garman held a gun to the victim’s head, cut the victim with glass and a knife, and forced the victim to drink WD40,” police said, referring to chemical product typically used to remove grease.

She also claimed that she had also witnessed him kill another woman then dispose of her body.

Police are working to corroborate the alleged murder, KSL-TV reported.

Cunningham has been booked at Salt Lake County Jail on numerous offenses, including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, felony discharge of a firearm and assaulting a peace officer.

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