Cedar City » When Logan Bryson suddenly awakened in the early morning of May 30, he thought he was having a bad dream until he realized someone was beating him with a hammer.
"I didn't realize I was being attacked until I fell to the floor with my arms up to defend myself," said Bryson, who took the stand Monday in 5th District Court in Cedar City during the preliminary hearing for Zachery Frank King, charged with beating Bryson and Daniel Shokrian at Shokrian's home in this southern Utah city.
King is charged with two counts of attempted aggravated murder and a count of aggravated burglary, all first-degree felonies. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge G. Michael Westfall bound King over for trial.
King, who agreed to be arraigned after the preliminary hearing, pleaded not guilty to the charges before being returned to the Iron County Jail.
Testimony Monday suggested a motive for the attacks may have grown from the trio playing the fantasy role-playing game "Dungeons and Dragons" and jealousy over a girl who King and Bryson knew.
Bryson, 23, suffered a concussion and bruises in the attack; Shokrian, 20, lost some vision and his ability to read and write, which he is trying to recover through therapy.
Bryson and King knew each other at school and had spent time the previous day playing "Dungeons and Dragons" with Shokrian, who was acting cocky during the game, according to Detective Nathan Williams. Shokrian was directing the game as Dungeon Master, and King didn't like what he was doing with King's character, Williams said.
Detective Michael Bleak testified that during an interview at the police station, King told him he went home after playing the game at Shokrian's house, took an over-the-counter sleeping pill and went to bed. He awakened angry, found a hammer in a tool shed and drove to Shokrian's house, entering through an open window.
Bleak said King told him he went to Shokrian's bedroom and said, "I hate you," and started hitting Shokrian with the hammer. King then went to the room where Logan was sleeping and attacked him.
Bleak said that King had an issue with Bryson for dating a girl after both said they would not date her.