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Witness alters story; murder charge dropped

The story from a witness to a January homicide changed, leading to the dismissal of murder charges against Troy R. Vigil, 20, Salt Lake City, dismissed this week in 3rd District Court.

Vigil was charged with murder in the Jan. 24 shooting of Ronnie "Joker" Lobato, 29, in an apparent dispute over a girlfriend. Police say Lobato was dating Vigil's former girlfriend and on the day he was shot, Vigil told a woman, "I'm going to shoot Joker."The two were seen arguing shortly before Lobato was shot, and Vigil fled from the house in the 200 West block of 700 North.

But a witness this week identified another man as the shooter, and Judge David Young dismissed the murder charge. Vigil pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence for handing what police determined to be the the murder weapon to a friend as he was fleeing in his wheelchair.

Young decided the seven months Vigil has spent in jail since the shooting was sufficient for the guilty plea to the second-degree felony and ordered him released.

Prosecutors said there is not enough evidence to charge the person named by the witness in the new identification.