Anthony McClanahan, a 46-year-old former Dallas Cowboys player, was charged on Monday for the murder of his 28-year-old wife, Keri. Investigations are still underway, but details of the case that are known so far are bizarre.
The couple had met last year in Keri’s hometown of Bellingham, WA, where McClanahan was working as a personal trainer. According to CBS News, Keri’s sister, Heather Gauf, said that McClanahan had pressured her to get married quickly. After the two wed earlier this year, the couple moved to Arizona and volunteered together in areas affected by hurricanes.Anthony McClanahan/Instagram
Gauf mentioned that, in late 2016, Keri bought a bracelet containing a small knife because of her interest in knives — and because of the domestic violence that was becoming a common occurrence in their relationship.
Gauf said that McClanahan was frustrated when he found out they’d lost a donation in their volunteer work in September and punched her. He gave the excuse that it was because of head injuries he’d suffered from playing football.
It was around that time that Keri moved back to Washington. Keri had a pattern of attempting to leave McClanahan, but eventually returning to him.
McClanahan was arrested in Utah in October, where they were both living, for kidnapping his 8-year-old son from a former relationship. He was released on bond after spending a week in jail.
Following the arrest, Keri went to back to living with McClanahan to help him care for his son and recuperate from the arrest.
On November 2, a neighbor called 911 after seeing and hearing McClanahan crawl through the hallways of the complex where the couple lived, asking for help. But then he went outside at 1:30 a.m. and flagged down a patrol car as it went past.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune:
Anthony Darnel McClanahan was crawling on his stomach when a Park City police sergeant first spotted him.
McClanahan raised himself long enough to flag down the sergeant…McClanahan laid on his stomach again and began convulsing, making what the sergeant described as “snow angel” motions with his arms.
KUTV reported that police noted that McClanahan had superficial injuries to his face, neck, torso, arms, and wrists, with blood on his feet. He told a story to the police about how his wife and “baby” were attacked by multiple people and went on to describe them. Police found the door to his condo open and that’s when they found Keri’s body. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that his story didn’t line up with what police found at the crime scene.
Investigators this week discovered that McClanahan allegedly used the small knife from his wife’s bracelet to cut the front, back, and sides of her neck. There were bruises and carpet burns found on her body. According to KUTV, Keri put up “a significant struggle” before she was killed, a medical examiner told authorities.
Keri leaves behind a 9-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son from a previous relationship.
Her sister told The Salt Lake Tribune:
“She was such an amazing mother and such a beautiful humanitarian. This is going to deeply affect my little niece and nephew, to know that their mother was murdered.”
McClanahan faces a charge of first-degree murder and potentially a life sentence in prison.