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Cellmate Testifies Against McClanahan At Preliminary Hearing

Summit County prosecutors trying a former professional football player on charges of killing his wife brought a dramatic witness to the stand for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.

A former cellmate for 47-year-old Anthony McClanahan claimed the defendant eventually dropped his story—that he and his wife had been attacked at the Park Regency Hotel in November of 2017—and the defendant admitted stabbing her to death.

The witness was 32-year-old Michael Bell, who said he was confined with the defendant in the Salt Lake County Jail Maximum Security wing in January and February of last year.

McClanahan has been confined in Salt Lake because he was arrested for transporting his son from Arizona to Utah without the permission of his ex-wife.

Bell testified that McClanahan said at first that was the reason for his imprisonment. Then he claimed that his wife, 28-year-old KC McClanahan, was killed on November 2nd, 2017 when they were attacked by unknown assailants at the Park Regency Hotel.

Bell said that changed one day when a young inmate was yelling out of his cell, in a conversation with another convict in the wing.

Bell said that upset McClanahan for some reason. He said the defendant state “Ill cut your ____ throat, (using a profanity) just like he said, he cut the throat of that ___ (there using an epithet for a female).

Bell testified that in later conversations, the defendant said that his wife had been almost decapitated.

“Did he tell you who it was who he almost decapitated?”

“At first no.,” Bell answered.

“Eventually did he tell you? Who did he say he almost decapitated?”

“It was him,” Bell said.

“He said he did?”

“Yes sir,” Bell said.

“Did he talk about how many times the victim, his wife, was stabbed?”

“I believe it was like 16-20 times,” Bell answered.

“Did he tell you who did that?”

“At first? No,” Bell replied.

“Eventually did he tell you who stabbed her that many times?”

“Yes sir,” Bell said.


“It was him,” Bell answered.

Bell said McClanahan also talked about why he was upset with his wife.

“He came to jail in Salt Lake for a couple of weeks he said when he got out it she was a lot skinnier,” Bell explained. “It looked like she had been partying doing drugs. He said that she was borrowing money from his dad to pay rent but rent never got paid.”

“Were there any more reasons he was mad?”

“He thought that she was messing around with his friend Will.” Bell answered.

“Did he say whether he was going to do anything to try and get out of this situation?”

“He said he was going to try and use the football protocol concussion to try and play it like he had all these memory problems.” Bell replied.

McClanahan also reportedly stated he had cut himself to make it look like an attack had occurred at the Park Regency.

On cross-examination, he told McClanahan’s attorneys that he was behind bars for a probation violation. He said his underlying conviction was for Aggravated Robbery. He admitted he had three felony convictions on his record, including Aggravated Assault and a credit-card fraud.

Bell said he took the initiative to bring the tip to authorities. He also said that law enforcement had not offered him any benefits or favors for his testimony.

As reported here, Third District Court Judge Patrick Corum bound over McClanahan for an Arraignment on March 18th.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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