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FARMINGTON, Utah – A Utah man accused of tying up five people in a basement and then killing a train worker in Wyoming while on the run from police is set to appear in court Monday amid talk of a possible plea deal.
Prosecutors have said they planned to make a plea offer to Dereck James "DJ" Harrison, 23, before the hearing. Harrison is facing 16 drug and kidnapping charges, and his lawyer has said he wants to consider a possible deal.
Harrison and his father were accused of luring a woman and her four teenage daughters to their house with an invitation to a barbecue in May, then tying them up and beating them before they managed to escape. The men were using drugs heavily and thought the mother had reported them to police, authorities said.
The pair fled to Salt Lake City, where they grabbed a 63-year-old train worker during his shift and forced him into his truck, according to charging documents.
Prosecutors allege that they beat Kay Ricks to death and left his body in the Wyoming countryside on their way to a remote hideout. The two men were arrested after a five-day manhunt. Flint Harrison, 52, killed himself in jail in July.
DJ Harrison is charged with murder in Wyoming in the worker's death, but he won't face those allegations until the Utah case is complete. That case carries the possibility of the death penalty.