A judge on Wednesday ordered Jorge "George" Benvenuto to stand trial for killing a man and wounding the victim's friend last year near Little Dell Reservoir.
If convicted, Benvenuto, who has no known criminal record, could face the death penalty.Third District Judge Michael L. Hutchings ruled that probable cause existed for a trial on charges of capital murder, attempted capital murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. Benvenuto, 19, is accused of shooting Zachary Snarr, 18, and his friend Yvette Rodier, 19, as the two prepared to take pictures of the rising moon on Aug. 28.
Rodier testified last month that Benvenuto approached and fired his gun, a .44 magnum, for no apparent reason. At least two bullets struck Snarr in his head; Rodier suffered wounds to her back and left leg.
She said she saw the man's face as he rifled the pockets of Snarr, apparently for car keys.
Benvenuto confessed to police after he was arrested while wandering along railroad tracks near Lehi. He said he emptied his gun at the couple and reloaded to fire more at Rodier because she was still screaming, according to court testimony.
Benvenuto will be arraigned March 17 before 3rd District Judge Anne M. Stirba.