Woman’s survival in crime spree ’miraculous’
Thursday, January 5, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A bodybuilder who was shot in the head during a carjacking outside a Nevada casino — then drove herself to get help — was released from a Salt Lake City hospital just days after the shooting, which authorities said figured in a two-state crime spree.
Rattana Keomanivong, operator of the Animal House Training and Nutrition gym in West Wendover, Nev., is a tough woman who earned the title “Wendover Strongest” during a weightlifting fundraiser last summer, police Sgt. David Wiskerchen said Wednesday.
Keomanivong was able to drive herself to the police station after being shot Saturday outside a casino in West Wendover and give a description of her assailants, he said.
Wiskerchen cited the woman’s “sheer survivability” and added, “It was amazing. It was miraculous.”
The suspects in her shooting and the earlier killing of an elderly Utah couple are being held in a Nevada jail on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery and an attempted murder charge. They will face additional counts in Utah after resolving the Nevada charges.
Court officials in Elko, Nev., said prosecutors were preparing formal charges against Logan McFarland, 24, and Angela Atwood, 25, both of Sanpete County, Utah. They were captured Tuesday walking in the desert south of Oasis, Nev.
Police said they couldn’t discuss the nature of Keomanivong’s injury, but a probable cause statement says she had a gunshot wound on the left side of her head. It wasn’t clear if the bullet just grazed her head. The woman asked for privacy through West Wendover police, saying she didn’t want to talk about it.
Keomanivong was released from University Hospital in Salt Lake City Tuesday, officials said. The hospital couldn’t provide details of her medical condition.
A Facebook page for her gymnasium had patrons praying for her recovery.
“R you are very courageous,” wrote one customer, Deeanna Croasmun. “Can’t imagine what you have been going through in the last few days. Lots of people are praying for you!”
No one answered the phones Wednesday at the woman’s gym, and no listing was found under her maiden or married name. Mike Daniels, a fitness trainer at the gym, earlier told The Salt Lake Tribune that, “She’s doing OK. She’s able to talk and move around a little bit.”
McFarland is held on $52,000 bail. Atwood’s bail was set higher Wednesday at $102,000 because her booking statement accuses her of the West Wendover shooting. She was being held for attempted murder, but seemed unable to comprehend that during a video conference from jail Wednesday with Elko Justice and Municipal Court, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City reported.
“I don’t understand what’s going on,” she cried.
McFarland seemed equally surprised by his booking charges, asking a judge, “How am I being charged with kidnapping?” Authorities said it was related to the botched carjacking.
Elko police filed a probable cause statement linking the pair to the killing of a couple in Mount Pleasant, Utah, where authorities say the crime spree started Friday with the killing of LeRoy and Ann Fullwood. Funeral services for the couple were set for Friday at a local Mormon chapel.
McFarland has a recent criminal history that includes drug and theft charges, according to the Utah state courts database.
He was released Oct. 10 after spending a month in jail for a conviction of theft by receiving stolen property — a supply of copper cables. He was supposed to pay a $500 fine in monthly installments. In August, he was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. That charge was dismissed a month later by prosecutors.
Atwood has some minor offenses listed in court records.
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