After more than a decade since the murder of William and Charmaine Sharp, their son, Peter Simon Sharp, was sentenced this week in regard to the case. Sharp appeared before 7th District Court Jeremiah Humes on Tuesday after years of being deemed incompetent to stand trial.
Sharp was originally charged with two counts of aggravated murder, first degree felonies, and one count of aggravated assault, a second degree felony, following the Oct. 21, 2009 incident.
According to police reports, Sharp used a shotgun to kill his parents in their Castle Dale home. Four of Sharp’s nine siblings were in the home at the time of the murders. Two of the siblings attempted to wrestle the weapon away from him. After the shootings, Sharp reportedly aimed the gun at one of his sisters, leading to the aggravated assault charge.
Soon after being arrested for the crimes, Sharp was ordered to stand a mental health evaluation. Court records from 2011 indicate that Sharp reportedly suffered from catatonic schizophrenia, intermittent explosive disorder and borderline intellectual functioning.
Seventh District Court Judge George Harmond then ordered Sharp to be committed to the Utah State Hospital where he has been housed and treated for mental illness. Periodically, hearings were scheduled to address Sharp’s mental health and determine if he was yet competent to stand trial. In 2015, the time allotted for Sharp to be presented as competent expired, leading the Emery County Attorney to dismiss the charges.
Last December, the Utah State Hospital contacted the Emery County Attorney’s Office and stated that Sharp could be competent to stand trial, leading to a mental health evaluation. He was deemed competent, leading the Emery County Attorney’s Office to refile.
Sharp pled guilty to two counts of murder, both first degree felonies, which each carry a sentence of 15 years to life. Adult Probation and Parole then conducted a pre-sentence investigation and the Utah State Hospital conducted another evaluation. It was determined that Sharp is still suffering from mental illness.
At the sentencing hearing, it was ordered that Sharp will serve these sentences consecutively, meaning one after another, resulting in a sentence of 30 years to life. This will be served at the Utah State Hospital. However, in the future, the Utah State Hospital could determine that Sharp could serve in an alternate setting, at which point the case would be reevaluated.