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2, NOT 3, POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED DECORSO AS SUSPECT IN CRIMES

Only two observers of a police lineup, not three as was originally reported, positively identified a former firefighter as a suspect in two crimes, Salt Lake District Attorney Neal Gunnarson said.

Gunnarson told reporters after the Thursday lineup involving Michael DeCorso that three people identified the man as their assailant, two in cases that have not yet been filed against him.However, the district attorney corrected his statement Friday, saying he miscalculated the results of the lineup.

He said one positive identification was made by an observer in the case of Margaret Ann Martinez, a Payless Shoe Source clerk in West Jordan who was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death with a pair of scissors.

DeCorso was charged with her murder after a fingerprint found on duct tape binding the women's legs matched his fingerprints on record at the Salt Lake County Jail.

A probable-cause affidavit supporting the lineup states a witness says he saw a man matching the description of DeCorso near the store's entrance on the night of the killing. Another woman says she saw a similar-looking man a few days later in the same vicinity. Both observers presumably attended the lineup this week.

The second positive identification came from a woman who was the victim of an aggravated burglary at a Payless Shoe Source in Draper - a crime for which DeCor-so has also been charged.

Prosecutors had gathered 15 witnesses and/or victims of the two crimes and nine other rapes and sexual assaults to view the lineup, which included DeCorso and seven other men.

Gunnarson stood by his post-lineup statement that four other observers had given "probable" identifications of DeCorso as their assailant in the sexual assaults.

He explained Friday that those identifications came from one of two 14-year-old girls who were abducted at gunpoint by a man, driven to a remote area near Tooele and sexually molested. One was raped.

The other three probable identifications came from victims of a man who assaulted and/or raped several women in West Valley City from 1990 through 1991, Gunnarson said.

"People need to realize that these identifications are just part of a large montage that we're still piecing together. They give us good leads to go on but are not going to be the entire case," he said.

Defense attorneys objected to the lineup, saying DeCorso's picture had been in newspapers and on television for several weeks, possibly predisposing all of the lineup observers to his likeness.

However, Gunnarson said evidence of that not occurring can be found in the number of identifications.

"We had 15 people there but only two made positive identifications. Don't you think there would have been more if they were prejudiced by the media exposure?"

DeCorso next appears in court April 17 for a hearing about whether the state can have access to his mental-health history. A preliminary hearing on all of the crimes for which he is charged is scheduled to begin Aug. 2.