Facebook Twitter



Five of seven men involved in the slaying of an Orem man in August have pleaded guilty to reduced charges in separate deals.

Tonga Mounga, 19; Anthony Tai, 26; David Niumeitolu, 19; Topouniua Unga, 19; and Bo Malup were all originally charged with homicide by assualt, a second degree felony, for their roles in the death of John Frietag on Aug. 25.In separate court proceedings over the past month, the men entered into deals with prosecutors that require they testify against two other men charged with murder, a first degree felony, in Frietag's death.

The charge against Niumeitolu was dismissed when he pleaded guilty in a separate case to driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor, and attempted escape, a Class A misdemeanor.

Tai pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault, a Class A misdemeanor. Mounga and Malupo both pleaded no contest to the same charge. Unga pleaded guilty to assault, a Class B misdemeanor, and public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor.

All five men await sentencing on the new charges. The two others, Beau Heaps, 17, Orem, and Leikina Lavulavu, 19, American Fork, are charged with murder and are awaiting trial.

Freitag died from a single gunshot to the abdomen. Police said the shot was fired through his front storm door after a group of men went to his north Orem home late at night allegedly to beat him up.

According to testimony at a preliminary hearing last month, the seven men were at a party in north Provo when Freitag returned a page to Heaps. A group passed the telephone around and argued with Freitag, police said. The group then drove to Freitag's home where Lavulavu and Tai went to the door, police charge. Shortly after Freitag answered, someone in the group yelled that he had gun, even though no one reportedly saw a gun, witnesses said. Lavulavu then allegedly pulled a handgun out of his pants and fired one shot, according to police.

Heaps and Freitag had known each other for a few years, and Heaps was a friend of Freitag's daughter. Bad feelings between the two allegedly began when Heaps had a party at Freitag's home while Freitag was out of town and the front door was broken. Heaps also allegedly threatened Freitag when he learned that Freitag planned to become a drug informant for police.