Utah woman who claimed self-defense accused of husband’s murder

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MAGNA, Utah – A woman has been charged in court for shoot and kill her husband in their martial arts studio in Magna over the summer.

A single charge of first degree murder (with increased domestic violence) was filed Tuesday against Cynthia Vincent, 41.

At around 12:30 a.m. on July 6, Vincent called 911 to report that she had shot her husband at Vincent’s home in Goju, which court records indicate also owned and resided. She claimed to have grabbed the gun in self-defense after her husband strangled her and then shot her once when he threw himself on her. Officers found her body lying just inside the studio’s main entrance. Vincent was arrested later that day.

Investigators now say they do not I believe the shooting was in self-defense after questioning the suspect, analyzing the evidence and viewing the security camera footage.

The “dojo” had motion-activated security cameras inside and out. Police looked at footage from those cameras and said in the hours leading up to the shooting the couple were walking, talking, kissing and kissing.

About 10 minutes before Vincent called the police, surveillance footage showed her husband pacing near the front door in his pajamas. Six minutes later, he was seen wearing jeans, a black shirt and black shoes. These were the same clothes he was wearing when he was found dead.

Vincent told police they had been fighting all weekend. She said that before the shooting, she called a friend to ask him to come pick up her husband.

LINK: Resources on domestic violence

“He keeps coming towards me. I’m scared. Come and get him before I kill him. I pulled out my gun,” Vincent said, according to the friend. Her cell phone records show that she made a 19-second call to the friend at 12:27 a.m.

Police said no violence was seen on cameras in the dojo. However, the charges indicate that the actual shooting and what immediately led to it were not captured on video.

The report states that a “flurry of dust” was seen in front of the camera at 12:28 am – “the same time the motion sensor lights were activated”. Police said “camera time” had passed at 12:35 am by then when police entered the building and Vincent was escorted outside. It has not been clarified whether police believe the camera system has been tampered with.

Investigators say there were inconsistencies in Vincent’s story when she spoke to them after Miranda’s warning.

She told detectives her husband fell backwards after she shot him, described where they were standing and where he fell. However, she “immediately recognized that it didn’t make sense if he was facing her when she shot him.” She tried to explain herself again, but police said she seemed to be guessing and her account did not match the evidence.

Evidence, including an autopsy performed by the state medical examiner’s office, indicated the victim was shot in the side of the head as she left the building through the front door.

After the shooting, court records also indicate that Vincent attempted to access and close financial accounts they previously shared. She couldn’t, however, because her husband had taken her out of the accounts at some point before her death.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has requested that Vincent be held without bail because they believe she is a danger to the community and is likely to flee.

Police identified the victim, her husband, as Michael Vincent.

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Resources for victims of domestic violence (free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, confidential):

  • Utah Domestic Violence Coalition:
    • Direct line: 1-800-897-LINK (5465)
    • Online help: udvc.org
  • National helpline on domestic violence
  • If you or someone else is in immediate danger or in an emergency, immediately dial 9-1-1.


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