Their smiling photographs contradict their violent deaths.
Of the 62 Wasatch Front homicide victims in 1994, 39 died from gunshot wounds. Ten were stabbed to death.The others met their deaths after being beaten, shaken, suffocated, strangled, drowned or set ablaze.
Police say the more familiar strains of family fights, drugs and plain old anger tell the final stories of the majority of the year's homicide victims. But gang-related deaths were also higher in 1994 than ever before.
Nearly one out of every six of the Wasatch Front homicides included some kind of gang overtones.
Some people were killed simply for being members of a rival gang while a "gang mentality" played roles in other homicides, such as the shooting death of a 16-year-old Salt Lake boy.
The boy's friend, also 16, is accused of putting a gun to the victim's head to show him how he was to be initiated into a gang. The gun discharged and the boy died four days later.
"There's an increased propensity for violent actions. The new gangs is where we're seeing the problems," said Salt Lake police Lt. Norm Thompson.
That increased violence has helped boost the number of Salt Lake City's homicides. At 24 last year, the city was only one homicide shy of tying the record set in 1990.
"Every couple of years we really catch hell," Thompson said.
The number of city homicides dropped to 15 in 1991, then to 13 in 1992 before jumping to 23 in 1993. Salt Lake City has averaged 17.6 homicides per year since 1980.
"It's gangs and drugs. That's where it's at," Thompson said of the year. "That's where we're putting our resources, in gangs and drugs."
But the often less sensational motives of domestic violence continued to haunt homicides detectives in 1994.
Investigators say at least 15 of the 62 homicides were directly related to domestic disputes, and at least 22 of the year's homicides were family related, meaning the suspects and victims were related or had boyfriend-girlfriend relationships.
"I think a good percentage of the (homicides) are always going to be domestic-related, where all the emotions are involved," said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Jerry Townsend.
At least eight of the 13 homicides in the unincorporated county involve domestic disputes.
The O.J. Simpson saga has helped the country address the domestic violence issue. "More of it is reported now than it was before," Townsend said.
In his early years as a deputy sheriff, Townsend said officers tried to help the couples work out their disputes and seldom made any arrests from family fights.
"It's taken a lot more seriously (today), and I think that's good," the sergeant said. "It's not bad to focus on domestic violence because it's been shoved under the rug for so many years."
Through new laws and increased awareness, police officers have helped prevent domestic-related deaths. But police can only do so much, said West Jordan Polic Sgt. Gary Cox.
"We live in a free society. We have a trade-off there. We can't have a police officer sitting on everyone's doorstep 24 hours a day. If we did, we'd be called a dictatorial or militant society," he said.
Other statistics from the 1994 Wasatch Front homicides:
-The average victim's age is 27.5. The oldest victim was an 86-year-old man killed by his wife, and the youngest was a male fetus who died when his mother was stabbed to death. A Salt Lake man is charged with two counts of capital murder in that case, which may test Utah law about killing unborn children. Sixteen of the year's victims were under 18.
-Of the victims, 42 were male and 20 female.
-Of those whom police suspect of committing the homicides, 48 are male, six are female and eight are unknown.
-In Salt Lake City, detectives consider 15 of the 24 homicides solved. Detectives have suspects in seven of the remaining nine and are continuing to gather evidence in order to file charges.
"I think those unsolved are things that could be resolved with just a bit more information or if people would come forward," Thompson said. Even small information such as cars or people seen in the area at the time of a crime can be helpful.
-Eleven of the sheriff's 13 homicides are considered solved, and detectives have suspects in the remaining two.
-All six of West Valley City's homicides are considered solved, but other charges could be pending against other alleged accomplices. One of West Jordan's three homicides remains unsolved and has detectives stumped. Tooele County's sole homicide also remains a mystery.
-The remaining 13 Wasatch Front homicides are all considered solved.
In the included summaries of the 1994 Wasatch Front homicides in Salt Lake, Davis, Utah, Weber, Summit and Tooele counties, the listed motives come from court documents and the beliefs of police and others who have investigated the crimes. In many of the cases the suspects have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
Salt Lake City 24
Salt Lake County 13
South Salt Lake 1
West Jordan 3
West Valley City 6
Davis County 5
Summit County 2 *
Tooele County 1
Utah County 2
Weber County 4
Wasatch Front total 62
*The Summit County homicide victim was a pregnant woman. A man has been charged with two counts of capital murder for also killing the unborn fetus.
SALT LAKE CITY
1. Feb. 11 - Angel Martinez, 17, was shot in the back as he sat in a car with his grandfather, Thomas Jacobs, 63. Jacobs was also hit in the back and critically injured. The car was parked in front of their home at 789 W. 1355 South when the shooting occurred about 2 a.m. The duo had been out to pick up Angel's mother, but they could not find her. The rounds entered through the back of the car, through the back seat, through the front seat and into the victims. Angel was a leader of a faction of a large Hispanic gang, and the shooting is believed to be connected to the internal gang struggle that began in 1993 when gang leader Raoul Gonzales dies. Motive: Unknown, probably gang-related revenge. Method: Gunshot.
2. Feb. 28 - David James Lane, 25, Bountiful, was shot in the face at 577 W. 200 North, the home of a friend Randy Eugene Velasquez, 24. Velasquez told police Lane had accidentally shot himself, but an autopsy indicated the 9mm gun had been fired from at least 24 inches away, and the angle would have made it improbable that he had shot himself. Velasquez later said he had fired it accidentally when Lane handed him the gun back. He was charged with negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor, and pleaded guilty to that charge but later withdrew his guilty plea. In November, a jury acquitted him of any wrongdoing. Motive: Accident. Method: Gunshot.
3. March 5 - Clifford Lynn Draper, 30, was shot to death after holding
10 people hostage at the Salt Lake City Library for 5 1/2 hours. Draper, dressed in fatigues and carrying a handgun and homemade bomb, jumped onto a desk following a peace ceremony by Tibetan monks and began gathering hostages. Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Lloyd Prescott, 46, who was teaching a training class at the sheriff's office next door, ran into the library and posed as a library patron. After 5 1/2 hours, he shot Draper three times when Draper indicated he was going to execute hostages. The shooting was ruled as justified. Motive: Self-defense. Method: Gunshots.
4: March 29 - SharaDawn Smith, 17, was shot in the chin and cheek during an apparent murder-suicide. Mauricio Ayala, 31, shot her, then shot himself once in the head and died 24 hours later. Both lived at 867 S. Roberta St. (240 East), a known drug house. Witnesses heard a single shot, then said Ayala ran out of a room and yelled something unintelligible. He then ran back into the room and several more shots were heard. Smith had been arrested many times for drugs and prostitution. Ayala, who police say may have been Smith's pimp, also had a lengthy criminal history. Ayala apparently had made comments he wanted to die and Smith indicated she wanted him to take her with him. Police said the couple may have previously attempted a suicide pact by a drug overdose. Motive: Distraught, drug-related. Method: Gunshots.
5. April 10- Birtes Lee Wilson Jr., 29, was shot to death by Salt Lake police officer Joel Schow at 1054 N. Chicago (940 West). Wilson's wife called police asking for help to retrieve her car and apartment keys from him. Wilson became irate, and officer Michele Rendon sprayed him with pepper mace, but it had no effect. Schow struck Wilson with a police baton, and Wilson punched both officers. During the melee, Wilson began swinging a tree branch --10 feet 2 inches long and about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Rendon slipped to the ground to avoid being hit by the tree. Schow fired three shots and Wilson died a short time later. The NAACP and others strongly criticized the shooting, but the county attorney ruled the shooting was justified. The FBI and U.S. attorney's office are still conducting an independent civil rights investigation to address allegations of racism, excessive force and police bias. Motive: Self-defense. Method: Gunshots.
6. April 22 - Jose Dimas Lopez, 32, was found dead at 330 S. Orange St. (1900 West). He was lying on the side of the road covered with trash and weeds. He had been shot once in the head. He was dressed only from the waist down and had been bound hand and foot and dumped there. He was from the Los Angeles area and had an arrest record of drug usage and sales. Witnesses had seen him in the Pioneer Park area two weeks before his death. No arrests or charges have been filed, but Juan C. Felix, 35, is considered a suspect. Felix, who is also a suspect in a May 27 double homicide, bragged to a friend he had shot a man in the head and dumped his body by the railroad tracks in Salt Lake City, according to a search warrant. Felix is charged with a million-dollar robbery of a South Ogden jewelry store and faces kidnapping and sexual assault charges for allegedly tying up store employees and raping one of them. Motive: Unknown, probably drug-related. Method: Gunshot.
7. April 23 - Trika Ballard's nude body was found under the 400 South viaduct by passing motorists. Ballard, 26, was killed inside a home at 166 E. Fourth Ave., and her body was taken in a pickup truck and dumped under the viaduct. Russell Ray Thompson, 35, was charged with murder, and his girlfriend, Lisa Edwards, 31, is charged with tampering with evidence, a second-degree felony. Family members say Ballard left with the couple that afternoon, presumably to buy drugs. Court documents state the Thompson called Ballard's sister, and she heard her sister and Edwards arguing. She also heard a gunshot. Ballard was shot six times, including two fatal wounds on her left side and upper chest. Detectives believe Thompson fired the shots and Edwards tried to clean up the mess afterward. Thompson's murder trial is scheduled Jan. 9. Motive: Anger, possibly drug-related. Method: Gunshots.
8. May 16 - Juan Martin Dominguez, 13, was shot through the neck with a shotgun while inside a home at 747 W. 1300 South. He was watching a video with a cousin and a 12-year-old friend on April 22 when they discovered a shotgun in a closet. The 12-year-old was playing with the weapon and pointing it toward the doorway when Dominguez entered the room and was shot. The question investigators faced was whether the boy intentionally pulled the trigger, even though he was unaware there was a shell in the chamber. Dominguez died May 16. In July, the 12-year-old friend was charged with manslaughter in juvenile court and later pleaded to negligent homicide. He was put on probation and ordered to serve 50 hours of community service. The weapon belonged to the shooter's brother, who had apparently purchased the gun for protection because his home had been the target of drive-by shootings.
Motive: Accidental. Method: Gunshot.
9. May 27 - Jose Mendez de Gomez, 36, and his 19-year-old roommate, Thomas palma, were both shot to death inside their apartment at 652 S. Banbury Court (1655 West). Gomez's body was discovered inside the bathroom. He had been shot in the chest wtih a 9mm weapon. A neighbor heard sounds coming from a bedroom and found Palma lying partially beneath a bed. He had been shot in the head. Police suspect the killings may be drug-related and believe the victims were tyring to hide from the shooter. Juan C. Felix is considered the prime suspect, bu the has not been charged. According to a search warrant, Felix bragged to friends about how he had murdered two men on May 27. He said he had gone to their apartment to collect a debt and the men ran from him. He allegedly said he followed one into a bathroom and shot him, then shot a second man who was trying to crawl under the bed. (See April 22 homicide). Motive: Unknown, probably drug-related. Method: Gunshots.
10. May 27- Thomas Palma, 19. See above.
11. July 14 - Garrett Hollaar, 86, was shot to death in his room at the Friendship Manor retirement home-- a victim of an apparent murder-suicide. His wife, LymMarie Hollaar, 82, apparently covered her husband's head with a bag and shot him twice in the chest and once in the head. She then sounded the alarm to alert security and shot herself in the stomach and mouth. The woman left a note saying they were tired of living at a rest home and tired of suffering from poor health. Motive: Despondency, health problems. Method: Gunshots.
12. July 25 - Lee Glass Thornton, 50, was found dead in her bed at her apartment, 456 N. 800 West. She had been stabbed nine times to her torso and neck and had been dead for at least a week. The bedroom had been ransacked, and used condoms were located nearby. Thornton told a friend she was upset at "Santiago" and said, "It's either going to be me or him," according to court documents. Another friend was present when Thornton received a phone call on July 14 from a man who had tried to break into her apartment through a window the week before --Bernardo Carrillo, a.k.a. Santiago. Although he is a suspect, no charges have been filed against him. Detectives asked prosecutors to file charges against him, but prosecutors say they lack enough evidence to file any charges in her death. Motive: Unknown. Method: Stabbing.
13. Aug. 15 - Pamela C. Mead, 29, was found dead in a small fish pond behind her home at 582 N. Center. Her death appeared to be an accidental drowning, but other evidence led the medical examiner to declare her death a homicide. The woman had a $500,000 insurance policy. No charges have been filed in her death, but investigators say they have suspects. Alleged motive: Financial gain. Method: Drowning.
14. Aug. 17 - Kerry "Dale" Jensen, 30, was shot to death at his apartment, 1756 W. 400 North. Jensen was home with his girlfriend and 18-month-old son when a man arrived and began arguing with him over an emission control sticker that Jensen was apparently supposed to give him. During the argument, Jensen was shot once in the chest. Mike Anthony Montano, 35, was arrested later that evening and charged with murder. A trial is scheduled Feb. 21. Motive: Anger. Method: Gunshot.
15. Aug. 18 - Manuel Ibarra, 15, was shot in the face in a gang-related shooting near 800 South and 900 West. Ibarra, whom police say was not a gang member, was driving to a grocery store with two friends when he was shot. A group of teen gang members apparently walked in front of Ibarra's vehicle and began a "stare down" with Ibarra and his friends, who stared back. Once the group reached the sidewalk, one pulled out a gun and fired several times, striking Ibarra once below the eye. He died four days later. Police arrested three teens- Ben Martinez, 16, and two friends, ages 14 and 16. All have juvenile records. Martinez was charged as an adult with murder, but he was recently released after witnesses failed to identify him in court. A judge will decide Jan. 5 whether other evidence can be admitted. Otherwise, the murder charge could be dropped. Motive: Unknown, probably gang-related. Method: Gunshot.
16. Aug. 27 - Jacinto Delgado-Romero, 26, died from a single shotgun wound to the abdomen at 335 S. Emery St. (1170 West). He was apparently picked up downtown and taken to the home, where he was beaten and then shot. The incident is believed to be drug-related, connected to a cocaine distribution group run by Mexican nationals. Carlos Martinez Sanchez, 26, a transient, and a man identified only as Sergio Doe, age unknown, were each charged with murder and aggravated kidnapping. Doe has still not been arrested. Juan Garcia, 16, of Tiajuana, Mexico, was charged with aggravated kidnapping. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was subsequently deported. Police suspect Sergio is the shooter. Todd Alan Oviedo, 18, was also charged with aggravated kidnapping and obstruction of justice but has fled. He is not believed to have been involved in the beating and shooting. Sanchez is scheduled to stand trial March 6. Motive: Anger, drug-related. Method: Gunshot.
17. Sept. 17 - Justin P. Raso, 18, was shot to death during a gang-related dispute. A group of people were at a party at 1794 W. Kimberly Circle (460 North) when the shooting occurred. Raso was apparently emptying the garbage when Jerrell Lamar Whittaker, 21, 5318 S. Banbury Way, and several people walked by. A confrontation of "mad-dog stares," and name-calling occurred. Raso apparently egged Whittaker on with gang sayings and racial slurs. Whittaker is accused of shooting Raso in the head and hitting Philipo in the upper arm. He was charged with murder and attempted murder. Court documents state Whittaker admitted firing the shots but said he did it in self-defense because he thought he was going to be attacked. He is scheduled to stand trial on Feb. 14. Motive: Anger, gang-related. Method: Gunshot
18. Sept. 20 - Roger Ronald Holly, 35, was found dead in a wooded area south of Gart Brothers Sports, 1176 E. 2100 South. Police said the man appeared to have been beaten over the head with several rocks, including a large rock 12 inches in diameter that was found near his body. The area is frequented by transients. Holly had purchased beer earlier that evening, but no bottles were found near him. Incidentally, Holly was a witness in a transient homicide in the area about a year earlier. Motive: Anger, possibly robbery. Method: Blunt-force trauma.
19. Sept. 25 - Theodore "Teddy" Davis, 17, died after exchanging gunfire with Torrance "Torrie" Lambrose, 18, in a gang-related confrontation in the parking lot at Smith's, 1174 W. 600 North. Both were affiliated with rival gangs that were involved in the Sept. 17 shooting death of Justin Raso. Lambrose, wearing a T-shirt that memorialized Raso, was in the checkout line when Davis and his friends spotted him and had some words with him. Police said Lambrose remained silent and left the store but later returned and waited for Davis to exit the store, then opened fire. Davis returned at least one shot. The teen were once friends but were apparently apparently pulled apart by rival gang forces. Motive: gang-related revenge, anger. Method: Gunshot.
20. Sept. 25 - Torrance "Torrie" Lambrose, 18. See above.
21. Oct. 1 - Gordon Kee, 16, was shot in the head while baby-sitting for his older sister at 860 E. 500 South. A 16-year-old friend, Dino Jones, visiting from Phoenix, but a 9 mm handgun to Kee's head to show him how he was to be initiated into a Phoenix gang. The weapon, which he had brought from Arizona, discharged and struck Kee in the head. He died four days later. Jones was charged with murder in juvenile court, and prosecutors are in the process of trying to certify him as an adult. Motive: Gang-related. Method: Gunshot.
22. Oct. 31 - Pat Bryner, 28, was bludgeoned to death with a blunt object and discovered dead in his Capitol Hill apartment, 68 E. 200 North. Bryner lived in the apartment with his 30-year-old girlfriend, and the couple had a history of domestic violence. The girlfriend, who was also severely beaten and hospitalized, is one of several suspects, but no charges have been filed. Motive: Unknown. Method: Blunt-force trauma.
23. Nov. 12- Cornelia Ann Salt, 22, Phoenix, was found dead and slumped over in the driver's side of a rental car parked at the north end of Jordan Park. She had been shot several times. Salt had rented the car the day before. Co-workers said she had flown to Salt Lake city to break off a relationship with a boyfriend who didn't want to believe the relationship was over. Detectives have questioned the boyfriend, but no charges have been filed.
Motive: Anger, possible domestic. Method: Gunshots.
24. Dec. 19 - Jorge Alberto Cabezas, 24, died while watching two men argue over a handgun behind the Red Belle Bar, 918 S. State. Police said a bullet fired from a 9 mm pistol killed him instantly. The shooting occurred after bar patrons Lenidas Ramos and Cabezas pounded on Harry Lee's truck. Lee, a security guard with a concealed weapons permit, had been playing in a band at the bar. Apparently believing his life was in danger, Lee, 49, grabbed his gun from beneath the seat, stepped out of his truck and the struggle began. Ramos apparently tried to grab the gun and two shots were fired, one striking Cabezas in the head. The Salt Lake County attorney's office declined to file charges, saying the events didn't rise to the level of criminal negligence. Motive: Self-defense. Method: Gunshot.
SALT LAKE COUNTY
1. Jan. 15 - Kimberly Evans, 28, was found slumped in the front seat of her car at the mouth of Butterfield Canyon near a Kennecott gate. Passers-by notified the sheriff's office of a possible suicide. But detectives discovered she had been shot six times, and there appeared to have been a struggle. Detectives served a search warrant on Rudy Armenta and performed a gunshot residue test on him. Investigators found lead particles on him characteristic of gunshot residue. Detectives believe Armenta may have taken nude photographs of the victim, some of which were delivered to her sister. Armenta may also have supplied Evans with drugs or controlled substances before the shooting, according to a search warrant. No arrests have been made, and no charges have been filed in her death, however. Motive: Unknown. Method: Gunshots.
2. Feb. 3 - Roland E. Zahorka, 38, Salt Lake City, was shot while at a phone booth. Anthony Martin Archuleta, 17, of Millcreek, was certified as an adult and charged with murder. Archuleta apparently told Zahorka he couldn't use a public pay phone at 315 E. 3900 South because he was waiting for a call. The two argued and shoved each other, then Archuleta turned to an 18-year-old friend and asked for a gun, according to court testimony. The friend handed him a gun, and Archuleta fired it at Zahorka, who was standing two or three feet away. A jury convicted Archuleta of murder, and he was sentenced to five years to life plus a one-year enhancement for using a gun. Motive: Anger, gang-related. Method: Gunshot.
3. Feb. 24 - Deputy sheriff Michael Scott Welcker, 38, was shot once through the heart while he and other officers tried to enter apartment D18 at 1747 W. Bowling Ave. (4620 South), where Michael Namai Post, 25, had barricaded himself inside. Earlier, deputies had responded to a fight at the home of Post's sister where Post had apparently pistol-whipped his sister's boyfriend. Five deputies were at the door attempting to pick the lock when Post fired nine 9 mm shots through the closed door, hitting Welcker and Sgt. Larry Marx, 39. The SWAT team later stormed the apartment and found Post in a back bedroom, where he had shot himself in the head. Welcker had been a deputy for nearly 4 1/2 years. Both Welcker and Marx, who recovered, were awarded the Purple Heart. Motive: Fear of being arrested. Method: Gunshot.
4. June 20 - Brandon Sweat, 22, West Salt Lake, was stabbed once in the chest with a butcher knife at Shangri La Apartments, 4860 S. 800 East. He was stabbed as he and others intervened in a domestic dispute between Max Andre Johnson Jr., 34, and his ex-wife, Lisa Mancebo. The couple had decided to reconcile and had been together about a week when the fight occurred. Friends say they came to the woman's aid, entering through a front door and balcony. Sweat knocked Johnson to the floor and was then stabbed as the woman and her children were leaving the apartment. Mancebo, however, testified that Sweat and his friends were not invited or welcome in her apartment that evening. Johnson is charged with murder, and a judge will decide Jan. 10 whether Johnson should stand trial for murder. Motive: Anger, domestic dispute. Method: Stabbing.
5. June 22 - Doelyn Oliver, 35, was discovered dead in the bedroom of her Union apartment at 209 E. Nicoletti Drive (7270 South). She had been shot three times. Moments before the shooting, she had been speaking on the telephone with her friend, Shellie Lynn Barson. Barson testified she heard the woman's husband, Gary Oliver, 43, just before hearing a "loud pop" and the phone went dead. Gary Oliver, who has a history of domestic violence, pleaded guilty to murder and will be sentenced Jan. 6. he faces a sentence of five years to life. Motive: Anger, domestic dispute. Method: Gunshots.
6. July 7 - Ruth Carole Drake, 62, drowned in the half-full bathtub of her Sandy home, 11525 S. 3200 East. Sheriff's detectives suspected foul play but had no evidence to warrant a murder charge until Nov. 18. Stacey (Stacilyn) Merrill Suphan came forward came forward then and told detectives that she accompanied Drake's husband, David Edward Drake, 44, to the home on July 7 and watched as he held Carole's head under water until she stopped moving. An autopsy revealed that she died of drowning but also indicated she had injuries and abrasions not consistent with an accident. David Drake was arrested Nov. 22 and charged with murder. Detectives say the couple, who were going through divorce proceedings, had been involved in a bitter battle over two adopted children and money. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 27. Motive: Domestic dispute, probably money. Method: Drowning.
7. July 7 - Sharleena Thammavongsa, 2, died after being submerged in a bathtub of scalding water at her home at 6105 S. Zodiac Drive (4180 West). She suffered third-degree burns over her entire body. The girl's mother, Songkane "Jenny" Thammavongsa, 23, was charged with murder. She told detectives a ghost or spirit was responsible for burning Sharleena and also prevented her from helping her child. Investigators believe the mother dressed the child before calling 911. When paramedics arrived, the child was still breathing but unconscious. She died early the next day. The mother is at the Utah State Hospital undergoing psychiatric evaluations. Her next scheduled court date is March 30. Motive: Unknown, possibly psychological problems. Method: Scalding.
8. Jimmy Dean Dale, 41, was shot to death during a domestic dispute at 2805 S. 9150 West. Gary Edward Iverson, 41, went to the home looking for his wife, whom he had been in a fight with earlier that day. Jimmy Harmon testified he tried to persuade Iverson to go home, then pinned Iverson against the wall with his truck after Iverson pointed a gun at him. Dale, who also lived at the home, went outside to try and calm Iverson down. When he opened the door, he was shot. Iverson, who had been standing only 3 or 4 feet away, was charged with murder and aggravated burglary. His December trial date was canceled, and a disposition hearing is scheduled Jan. 6. Motive: Anger, domestic dispute. Method: Gunshot.
9. July 24 - Mary Verline Erickson Bartell, 58, died at her home at 7474 W. Burr Drive (3583 South). Her body was found at the bottom of a stairway by the front door of the house. Investigators initially ruled her death an accident because of lack of evidence. In October, however, ex-husband Keith Len Bartell, 40, was charged with murder. Bartell told his sister he killed his ex-wife by performing a "Marine choke hold" on her and throwing her down the stairs, court documents state. Both had been drinking and fighting earlier that evening. Motive: Domestic dispute, anger. Method: Strangled, thrown down stairs.
10. Oct. 11 - Richard Dale Leetham, 35, West Jordan, 1375 W. 7000 South No. 48, was found dead in a Little Cottonwood Canyon gravel pit. His decomposed body was found by a hiker about a mile above the LDS archives vault. He had been shot at least once in chest. He had been missing since Aug. 26 and was last seen on Aug. 17. No weapon was found near his body, and his pickup truck was later discovered in Tiajuana, Mexico. A man accused of stealing the truck has been arrested and is one of several suspects that detectives are pursuing. Motive: Drugs. Method: Gunshot.
11. Oct. 13 - Sam Richard Dana, 31, 1610 W. Crystal Ave., was shot four times to the head, back, neck and chest. His body was discovered in the road near 9500 South and Wasatch Boulevard. Shortly after the shooting, a man and a woman went to a West Central City home and told a third person he had just killed somebody and needed to change his clothes. The man was covered in blood and had a gun in his waistband. Marcos Antony Frescas-Hernandez, 24, was charged with murder. He was arrested Oct. 15 in Downey, Calif. Frescas-Hernandez told police he shot Dana during a drug transaction because he thought he saw something like a knife in Dana's hand, a detective testified. His trial is scheduled Jan. 24. Motive: Drugs. Method: Gunshots.
12. Oct. 30 - Lauren Martinez, 42, and her 10-year old daughter, Alexis Martinez, were shot to death in their Bluffdale home at 3450 W. 14250 South. Lauren's stepson, Nathan Martinez, now 18, is charged with two counts of capital murder. Friends say Nathan told them he waited until his father and brother went hunting, then loaded a rifle and shot his stepmother and half-sister while they were in their beds. Nathan, who some say may have been influenced by the movie "Natural Born Killers," which he had seen between six and nine times, was arrested three days later in Nebraska. At least one friend said Nathan had talked about killing his family earlier. His next court date is Jan. 10. Defense attorneys have asked a judge to postpone his court proceedings until the Utah Supreme Court rules on a motion questioning prosecutors' ability to file adult charges against juveniles. Nathan was 17 when the shootings occurred. Motive: Anger, domestic dispute. Method: Gunshot.
13. Oct. 30 - Alexis Martinez, 10. See above.
1. Nov. 5 - Jordan Doherty, 8 months, was found not breathing at a day-care center, 80 E. Oak, and later died at Primary Children's Medical Center. Day-care provider Candis Farrer was charged with Jordan's murder. When Farrer called 911, she said the baby had fallen off her bed "for starters." An autopsy showed the baby died from cerebral injuries, which investigators say are considered non-accidental and most likely caused from the acceleration and impact of the baby's head into a hard surface. The injuries would have been apparent minutes after occurring. The parents dropped the baby off with Farrer about 6 a.m. that day, and Farrer called 911 about 9:30 a.m. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 11. Motive: Anger. Method: Blow to the head.
SOUTH SALT LAKE
1. June 14 - Eaon Richard Duff, 14 months, suffocated in his apartment after a rubber superball was shoved down his throat. Duff's father, Eric Eaon Duff, 24, 2862 S. 200 East, was arrested at the scene and charged with murder. The child's mother testified that Eric Duff put the ball in the boy's mouth "to teach (him) a lesson" because he was tired of the child constantly spitting the superball out of his mouth. She believes he didn't mean to kill the child, however. Duff's murder trial is scheduled March 10. Motive: Anger. Method: Suffocation.
1. Feb. 15 - Margaret Ann Martinez, 50, was found dead in the back room of a Payless Shoesource store at 7915 S. Redwood Road. Her husband called police after she didn't come home on time. He went to the store but couldn't find her. Police searched the store and found her body in the back room. There were obvious signs of a struggle. Martinez was partially naked, bound in duct tape and bleeding from the throat area. Police will not identify the weapon. Investigators have exhausted all their leads. Motive: Unknown, possibly robbery. Method: Suffocated, stabbed.
2. April 13 - George J. Pando, 51, was stabbed to death during a fight at his mobile home, 4000 W. 8400 South. He had been stabbed once in the back. Neighbors reported a loud domestic dispute, then police received another call from a 7-year-old child who said that a man was bleeding at his house. Pando's live-in girlfriend, Lucinda Mills, 44, was booked into jail for investigation of murder. However, she was later released, and no charges were filed against her. The county attorney said the use of deadly force was justified. Two children, ages 3 and 7, were apparently in another room when the stabbing occurred. Motive: Domestic dispute. Method: Stabbing.
3. Nov. 19 - Katrina Clarke, 27, was shot to death by her estranged husband, 39-year-old Cameron Clarke, who then shot himself. Cameron Clarke broke through the rear door of his family's home, 7685 S. 3530 West, about 10 that night. Katrina Clarke was with their three children, ages 3, 5 and 9, and a 12-year-old baby sitter. Brandishing a .25-caliber hand-gun, Cameron Clarke forced his wife into the master bedroom, shot her and then turned the gun on himself. She was transported via helicopter to a local hospital and died there. He was dead at scene. Motive: Domestic dispute, anger. Method: Gunshot.
WEST VALLEY CITY
1. Jan 14 - Danny Gibwson, 24, was shot and killed after he kicked in the front door of Sean Snow's apartment, 5685 W. 3980 South. Neighbors say the two had ongoing conflicts that ended with a fight that evening. After a confusing chain of events, Gibson ended up pounding on Snow's door. When the door was kicked in, Snow fired one gunshot, which hit Gibson in the chest. He died before medical help arrived. Snow, 25, was booked into jail for investigation of murder and later released. The county attorney declined to file charges, saying Snow had defended his family and property. Gibson's father challenged the decision but couldn't come up with further evidence for new charges. Gibson and Snow were neighbors. Motive: self-defense. Method: Gunshot.
2. Jan. 15 - Jeremy Gaitin, 18, was stabbed five times in the chest and neck during a fight that broke out between rival gang members in front of a home at 2160 W. Birmingham Circle (3680 South). Detectives arrested Dominique Paul Vigil and Mario Vigil, both 17, for investigation of murder. Both were later released due to lack of evidence. Detectives were frustrated trying to locate witnesses because of fears of reprisal and intimidation. In September, however, prosecutors filed murder charges against Dominique Vigil and Melvin Garcia, 27, 3981 S. Banock St. But Garcia was set free in October after a witness changed her story and said she did not see Garcia participate in the stabbing. Vigil's trial is scheduled Feb. 14. Motive: Gang-related. Method: Stabbing.
3. March 25 - Vincent Archuleta, 28, was shot in the chest at a West Valley party after he was caught in gang cross-fire. He was killed and three other men injured when at least three people burst through the front door of a house at 3715 S. 3325 West and opened fire about 3:45 a.m. Most of the people at the house and the suspects were rival gang members. Travis Cruz and Lane Howard, both 17, were arrested but later released and never charged with the crime. Prosecutors later filed a first-degree murder charge against Jose Reyes Gaitan, 18, 2420 E. Catalina Drive. Motive: Gang-related. Method: Gunshot.
4. April 3 - Kameron Bright, 3, died after his skull was fractured in two places and blood deposited between the brain and skull. Also present was retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes. Kameron's adoptive mother, Darlene Whiteman Bright, 32, 6388 W. 3100 South, was charged with murder. She told hospital officials the boy fell out of his bunk bed, but doctors and investigators say his death was no accident. The boy also had suffered a fracture "at least a few weeks" earlier, and it had been recently reinjured, according to a medical examiner. Trial is scheduled March 6. Motive: Anger. Method: Possible shaking, blow to the head.
5. July 31 - Sichan "Clay" Or, 19, died after he was shot several times in the upper body while standing in the parking lot of an apartment complex at 2531 S. Parkcrest Drive (1860 West). Witnesses told police that two men in a white Nissan pickup truck were responsible. The passenger, 17-year-old Vongpachan Piansiaksone, who goes by the nickname "Mac," allegedly leaned out the window and shot at Or several times. He was picked up in San Diego by gang detectives there after someone phoned in a tip. The 22-year-old driver and brother-in-law of the victim, Anouphong "Nuk" Khamsiharath, was picked up in Las Vegas Aug. 2. Both were charged with murder. Kahamsiharath later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter and will be sentenced Jan. 13. His sister told investigators that her brother was angry at Or for treating her badly, according to court documents. A preliminary hearing for Piansiaksone is scheduled Jan. 10. Motive: Domestic dispute. Method: Gunshots.
6. Nov. 25 - Roy S. Douangdalavong, 22, nicknamed "Catfish," West Valley City, was shot twice in the parking lot of an LDS stake center at 2949 S. Carla St. (4060 West). Neighbors called police after hearing gunshots in the area about 12:30 a.m. Detectives tracked a suspect to the San Diego area with help from gang detectives and eventually arrested Bhountai Sengthoughkham in Rock Springs, Wyo. He was charged with murder and will appear in court on Jan. 3 for a pretrial hearing. Motive: Gang-related. Method: Gunshots.
1. Jan. 23 - Jennifer Sawyer, 14, Clearfield, died after she was shot in the face. Sitting on the floor of a vacant mobile home in Clearfield, 16-year-old Daniel E. Roberts was pointing a .357 -caliber handgun stolen earlier that night at his teenage drinking companions, pulling the trigger of what he thought was an unloaded gun. When he pointed it at Sawyer the gun went off, the bullet hitting her in the face and killing her immediately. Roberts, 414 N. 1300 West No. 125, was charged with manslaughter, burglary and other minor charges connected with an earlier break-in of a convenience store. After being certified as an adult, Roberts pleaded guilty to the manslaughter and burglary of a building and received two prison sentences of one to 15 years and zero to five years. Motive: Accidental. Method: Gunshot.
2. June 18 - Joshua Burns, 3, was stabbed to death by his mother in their Layton apartment at 222 W. 2000 North. Distraught by the failure of her marriage to a U.S. Air Force sergeant she met in her native South Korea, Ok Kum Burns, 32, decided early that morning to escape by killing herself and her son. She stabbed Joshua four times in the chest and stomach with a steak knife, killing him, and then attempted to commit suicide with an overdose of aspirin washed down with whiskey. Discovered later that morning by friends and revived at a local hospital, Burns was charged with murder. She pleaded guilty, but after two mental evaluations, her her sentence was reduced to one to 15 years in prison. The judge cited her mental condition at the time as the reason for the reduction. Motive: Distraught over failed marriage. Method: Stabbing.
3. July 4 - Misty Marchant, 29, was shot several times in her West Point home during a simmering family fight. She and her husband had a long history of domestic violence, and the last episode erupted when Kenny Marchant, 29, used a shotgun to blow open the front door of the home of his estranged wife, 1120 N. 3200 West. Kenny Marchant first used the shotgun to wound Kirt Swann, 32, of Ogden. He then followed the wounded Swann into a nearby bedroom, shooting him five times with a .22-caliber handgun and killing him. Marchant then went hunting for his wife. Finding her and their 5-year-old daughter in an upstairs bedroom, Marchant shot his wife twice in the chest with the shotgun while she was on the telephone with 911 dispatchers. Pursued by a Davis County sheriff's SWAT team, Marchant drove to his father's home in Clinton, where he killed himself with a single shotgun blast. Motive: Domestic dispute. Method: Gunshots.
4. July 4 - Kirt Swann, 32, of Ogden. See above.
5. Aug. 20 - Anthony Ruiz, 31, was stabbed to death during a fight at his brother's Clearfield home. After arguing with his brother on and off through most of the day, Michael J. Ruiz, 21, and his brother Anthony decided later that afternoon to settle their battle. Anthony left, then later returned to Michael's house at 1179 Valhalla Drive in Clearfield. There, the two men fought again. This time, however, Michael was apparently armed with a 4-inch steak knife. Anthony was stabbed in the stomach and died later that night in an Ogden hospital. Michael Ruiz was charged with manslaughter and is scheduled for trial March 22. Motive: Anger. Method: Stabbing.
1. Dec. 2 or 3 - A pregnant Irene Francis Christensen, 20, was found dead in the snow on Dec. 18 near Rockport Reservoir. She had been stabbed several times and her throat was slashed. Her boyfriend, Calvin Shane Myers, 21, Salt Lake City, was charged with two counts of capital murder for her death and the death of her unborn child. A drivers' license belonging to Steven Paul Howard was located near the body. He later told detectives he saw Myers stab Christensen. Myers told detectives he knew Christensen was pregnant and was upset because of it, court documents state. Howard is charged with obstructing justice. Myers' preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 4. Motive: Domestic dispute, anger. Method: Stabbing.
1. June 1994 - On June 7, the unidentified body of a man was found in the Great Salt Lake near I-80 and Black Rock, west of the marina. Decomposition from the salt water made it impossible for investigators to determine a cause of death or confirm his identity. However, detectives consider his death a "suspected homicide" and believe his name was Zhang Zhigang, 32. He had been visiting his wife in Pennsylvania and had stopped in Salt Lake City on a layover. Motive: Unknown. Method: Unknown.
> UTAH COUNTY
1. Feb. 20 - Karri May Larsen, 29, was found in her Provo home, 938 W. 100 South, with multiple stab wounds. She died a few hours later. Her common-law husband, Donald Mossburg, 35, was charged with murder. The two had lived together for more than 13 years and had two kids, ages 9 and 5. Police are unsure why Larsen was stabbed, but officers had responded to the home a few days earlier when Mossburg was reportedly depressed and suicidal. Mossburg's case is on hold awaiting a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the state's statute on claiming a diminished mental capacity as a defense. Mossburg is being held in the Utah County Jail on $100,000 bail. Motive: Domestic dispute. Method: Stabbing.
2. Sept. 5 - Glen Cowden, 54, came running out of his burning Orem home, 1036 E. 200 South, engulfed in flames and said someone had set him on fire. He later died, and his roommate, Scott Causey, 21, was charged with capital murder and aggravated arson. Investigators allege that Causey doused Cowden with gasoline and set him afire. Cowden had befriended Causey and allowed him to reside in his home. The two allegedly got into an argument about a rule not allowing Causey to smoke in Cowden's home. Causey was later ruled incompetent to stand trial and is currently being treated at the Utah State Hospital.
1. Feb. 17 - Darrel Christensen, 63, was stabbed 21 times and his arm was broken while in his home at 3145 Porter St. Christensen had health problems requiring him to be on oxygen and was severely handicapped. Anthony Melendez, 17, was charged with murder and certified as an adult. He was found guilty and sentenced to prison. Police said Melendez came to Christensen's home to use the phone and the two got in an argument. Melendez was drinking at the time of the stabbing. Motive: Unknown. Method: Stabbing.
2. June 4, 1994 - Courtney Jo Flemal, 3, 539 22nd St., was found dead under a bush in the Ogden City Cemetary. Her mother, Shelly, 23, reported her missing and told police the girl had been playing in a park near their apartment when she disappeared. The child's body was found three days later in the cemetery by police dogs. An autopsy indicated signs of blunt force trauma and that she also may have been asphyxiated. A witness told investigators she had previously seen Flemal stuff socks into the girl's mouth to keep her from crying. Flemal was charged with murder on Dec. 14, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled Jan. 4. Motive: Unknown. Method: Blunt force trauma, possible asphyxiation.
3. June 8 - Scott Holbrook, 47, 5658 S. 5500 West in Hooper, was shot seven times at his business, Holbrook's Lawn Doctor. His business partner, Joseph Monte Favero, 46, of Ogden, was charged with murder and accused of crashing his car through the building and piling on debris on the victim. His trial is on hold pending a Supreme Court decision about the insanity statute. Motive: Unknown. Method: Gunshots.
4. Sept. 17 - Daniel D. Hickman, 34, was shot and killed by Ogden police officer John Valdez, 44. Valdez said he witnessed a rape in progress and chased after Hickman. Valdez shot Hickman in the chest after he apparently reached behind him and pulled his arm forward as if he had a gun. Hickman was later found to be unarmed. The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing. Motive: Self-defense. Method: Gunshot.