This is an archived article that was published on in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Friends of an Eagle Mountain woman who fatally shot her husband earlier this year say she acted in self-defense, but the man's father insists in a court petition that the shooting was not justified.

Utah County prosecutors have not yet reviewed the case.

In a petition filed May 18 in 4th District Court, Dale Hitesman Jr. is asking for appointment as the personal representative of his late son's estate and a judge's determination of heirs. The father claims Tiana Sheryl Hitesman "wrongfully killed Elwin Dale Hitesman III, and therefore she should have no priority to be personal representative and should not be found to be an heir of the decedent."

Tiana Hitesman has filed a counter petition disputing the allegations and asking that she be appointed to administer the estate.

Elwin Dale Hitesman III — who went by his middle name or the nickname "Bucky" — was killed the night of Feb. 27 in an apparent domestic dispute at the couple's Eagle Mountain home.

Dispatchers received a 911 call at about 9:50 p.m. from Tiana Hitesman saying she had just shot her husband, according to the Utah County Sheriff's Office.

When emergency responders arrived, they found that 33-year-old Elwin Dale Hitesman III had died from two gunshots from a revolver. The couple's four children — ages 1, 3, 6 and 9 — were in the house at the time of the shooting.

Tina Hitesman, 31, was questioned by detectives and then released. The case is still under investigation; sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said the office is waiting for toxicology results.

Neighbors set up a website in the spring to collect donations for Tiana Hitesman and her children. The site says the family had gone through a "difficult domestic violence situation that ended with Tiana Hitesman shooting and killing her husband in self-defense."

Utah court records show Elwin Dale Hitesman III pleaded guilty to misdemeanor simple assault three times, in 2000, 2001 and 2007, in cases involving domestic violence.

He also was charged with misdemeanors, including threats against life/property and telephone harassment, in several other matters but those cases were dismissed, according to court records.

At the time of his death, Elwin Dale Hitesman III was facing misdemeanor counts in Utah County Justice Court of assault, unlawful detention and damage to or interruption of a communication device. Those charges were related to an alleged domestic violence incident on Jan. 31, court records say.

In his obituary, Elwin Dale Hitesman III was remembered fondly as a loving father, son, brother, uncle and friend.

He worked as a teen with the disabled, which prepared him for life with an autistic son. He later took an active role in autism education with the creation of "Riders of Autism," the obituary says.

"Dale 'Bucky' cared for all his children deeply and he will be missed by all that he touched," the obituary says.

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC

comments powered by Disqus