Ouncie Michell murder: Charges against woman accused of domestic violence death of pro bull rider dropped

Ouncie Michell murder: Charges against woman accused of domestic violence death of pro bull rider dropped
Lashawn Denise Bagley shot and killed boyfriend Demetrius Omar Lateef Allen (Fort Bend County Jail; Professional Bull Riders/screengrab)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers’ discretion advised.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH: A Utah judge has dismissed murder and related charges against Lashawn Denise Bagley, 23, the woman accused of fatally shooting her on-and-off boyfriend, professional bull rider Demetrius Omar Lateef Allen.

The decision was made on Wednesday by 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris, who deemed Bagley's actions justified in using lethal force, as per KSL.

What prompted the shooting?

The incident occurred in Salt Lake City on September 12, 2022, when Bagley called 911 just after midnight. Responding officers found Allen outside the apartment with at least one gunshot wound. Despite emergency medical care, he succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.

Police initially took Bagley into custody, noting multiple bullet holes in her apartment. The investigation revealed the pair were in a tumultuous relationship and had argued at a downtown bar after attending the Utah State Fair together along with another woman. The fatal encounter transpired when Allen returned to Bagley's apartment to retrieve his belongings.

“These two, we believe knew each other, they had attended the fair and then ended up at a bar and ended up arguing,” police Detective Michelle Peterson said.

“Then the male wanted to get some of his property from the apartment that he was staying in, while he was attending the fair and a gun was pulled out and he was shot,” Peterson added.

Conflicting testimonies emerge over break-in allegations

However, authorities stated that there was no evidence indicating Allen was inside the apartment at the time of the shooting. Blood was found outside the apartment, according to officers, and there were purportedly no indications of forced entry or any attempts at forced entry.

Officers also mentioned that a witness affirmed the absence of entry or attempted forced entry into the apartment. While authorities stated that it was an "on-and-off" relationship, the court heard testimony that Allen was attempting to enter the apartment with another woman to collect his possessions, as per Fox.

The second woman allegedly tried to use a credit card for entry, and when unsuccessful, Allen attempted to break in with a rock, declaring, "I'm from Houston. We can get in."

Prosecutor Andrew Deesing argued that Bagley lacked "reasonable fear," citing texts between Bagley and Allen that indicated his intention to retrieve his belongings within the hour before the 911 call. Deesing suggested Bagley could have placed his items on the front porch instead.

Denise Bagley's counsel asserts justifiable self-defense

In her defense, Bagley's lawyer, Sherry Valdez, asserted that self-defense was justifiable given the circumstances of a break-in. Valdez contended that the victim had every right to protect herself in her own home.

Judge Kouris focused his ruling on Bagley's knowledge of a break-in, regardless of the identity of the intruder. He deemed it unreasonable for someone to break a window with a rock after leaving belongings in the home. Nevertheless, the judge highlighted the lack of evidence showing Bagley had read the texts or knew it was Allen at the door.

Share this article:  Ouncie Michell murder: Charges against woman accused of domestic violence death of pro bull rider dropped