An alleged case of "loose lips" helped investigators nab two men accused of shooting and killing a California man last August before blowing up the Sandy home where he was staying.
Douglas Leon Birkinbine, 33, and Adam Dewayne Gibbons, 19, were charged with aggravated murder, a capital offense, for allegedly slaying 21-year-old Philip Boykin on Aug. 17, 1995.The pair admitted to several people that they killed Boykin and firebombed the house at 8876 S. 400 East, according to a 3rd Circuit Court complaint.
Police said they tossed a bomb into a side window of the home and that one of the men shot Boykin before the device detonated.
Both suspects were seen leaving the home just before the explosion occurred, the complaint said. A witness also spotted a large white car resembling the car Gibbons drives parked outside the home about 20 minutes before the blast.
Rescue workers pulled Boykin's body from the wreckage. An autopsy later revealed he had been shot in the head prior to the explosion, the complaint said.
Rene Briddle, 25, address unknown, was also in the home at the time but escaped with only minor injuries.
If convicted, Birkinbine and Gibbons could face the death penalty.
The pair was also charged with attempted aggravated murder and aggravated arson, both first-degree felonies, in connection with the bombing.
Birkinbine also faces a possession of explosive device charge, a second-degree felony.
Gibbons was arrested Monday in Salt Lake City. Officers arrested Birkinbine on Feb. 9 in New York City. He is expected to be extradited to Utah on Friday.
They remain behind bars without bail because they're charged with a capital offense.
Sandy police said they don't have a motive for the slaying and firebombing.
Other suspects may be charged in the future.