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Former WSU football player makes first court appearance in alleged murder of wife

PARK CITY, Utah – Ex-pro football player Anthony McClanahan made his initial court appearance Monday on charges alleging he stabbed his wife to death at a Park City resort.

McClanahan, 46, was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair, flanked on all sides by sheriff’s deputies. His voice was quiet and gravelly as he waived a reading of the charge against him and scheduled a hearing for next week during the brief court appearance.

John Johnson, one of McClanahan’s two public defenders, said following the hearing that defense lawyers are putting together a team to begin looking into the case before deciding how to proceed.

“We’re going to need some time to investigate the case,” Johnson said. “We will represent Mr. McClanahan to the best of our abilities.”

Johnson said he wasn’t sure why his client is in a wheelchair or how long he has been using it. He has been in contact with McClanahan’s parents, he said, who wished the defense attorneys well as they represent their son.

McClanahan is charged with murder, a first-degree felony, in the death of his wife, 28-year-old Keri “KC” McClanahan.

At the same time, McClanahan is facing a charge of child kidnapping, a first-degree felony, in 3rd District Court stemming from the custody dispute with another woman in Arizona. Prosecutors in Arizona have issued a warrant for his extradition in the case.

Keri McClanahan was found dead Nov. 2 at the Park Regency Resort, 1710 Prospector Ave., after her husband who was crawling on the ground outside, flagged down a police officer saying he and his wife had been attacked by two or three men with a knife, according to a search warrant affidavit.

After a "lengthy search" of the complex, police found an open door with blood on it and on the floor and discovered KC McClanahan's body. She had been stabbed multiple times on her neck, and investigators noted her body had several defensive wounds, according to court documents. A paracord bracelet knife, believed to be KC McClanahan's, was found on the floor near her hand, police say.

Anthony McClanhan had rented a room at the hotel on Oct. 23, and was scheduled to check out on Nov. 6, the charges state.

McClanahan grew up in California and later played football as a linebacker at Washington State. While he had prospects to play with the Dallas Cowboys, he was cut from the team prior to the 1994 regular season and never played a game in the NFL. He went on to play for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League from 1995 to 1998.

McClanahan's next hearing on the murder charge has been set for Dec. 4. He is scheduled to return to court in Salt Lake City on Friday in the child kidnapping case.