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Sandy man found guilty of slaying in drug dispute

Drugs, deception and a determination to commit murder were the lethal combination that took the life of a South Jordan man.

At least that's how the family of the slain youth saw it Thursday after Russell Eugene Bisner, 20, Sandy, was found guilty of killing Darby Golub, 19.A jury deliberated one hour and 45 minutes Thursday morning before returning the verdicts on charges of murder and aggravated robbery, both first-degree felonies.

"Guilty as charged," an incensed Edward Golub, Darby's father, said, nearly spitting out the words moments after the verdict was announced in the 3rd District courtroom of Judge Dennis Frederick.

"He got what he deserved. He never showed any remorse the whole time. He had the same smirk on his face today when they led him out as when the case began."

As much as anything, Darby Golub's family and friends resented the way they felt he was lured to his death -- and even hoodwinked into bringing the rifle that was the instrument of his demise.

They agreed with testimony that a dispute over $350 in drug money Darby Golub owed Bisner triggered the Jan. 6 incident at a parking lot in front of Smith's, 2039 E. 9400 South, in Sandy.

"Darby did owe the Bisner kid money," Edward Golub said.

But Darby Golub didn't bring the rifle to use it when he agreed to meet Bisner and three friends to settle the dispute.

"It was made out by some people Darby came to use the gun on them," Edward Golub said. "Absolutely untrue. He brought the rifle because they asked him to. Russell Bisner had a gun collection and he said he wanted the rifle to pay the drug debt, instead of the money.

"So Darby shows up with the gun and tries to give it to them and they all started beating him."

According to trial testimony, Darby Golub walked toward the three men facing him -- Dustin Phillip Symes, then 20; Justin Robert Koontz, then 19, and Derek Shawn Pearson, then 18, -- and Bisner.

Darby Golub wasn't pointing the gun at them, Symes told police. But Symes told officers he feared for his life and struck Golub with a baseball bat.

"He just balled up," Symes testified. "He dropped the gun and I proceeded to go to my truck."

Koontz and Pearson struck Golub with their fists before joining Symes in his truck.

Darby Golub was able to get to his feet, make it to his truck and attempt to drive away. Court documents show Bisner picked up Golub's rifle and fired six shots.

Medical examiner Todd Grey testified Golub was killed by a bullet entering the left, back side of his head, carrying shrapnel from piercing the truck, and lodging in the brain.

Police said they later found a rifle "consistent with the one that shot Golub" in Bisner's house.

"Someone was going to die (Bisner) promised four hours before this happened," prosecutor Robert Stott said.

Defense attorney Ralph Dellapiana argued Darby Golub fomented the incident by bringing the gun and by calling the house where Bisner was partying about 2 a.m., the morning of Jan. 6.

Golub had asked then for the meeting to settle the drug debt, Symes said.

"None of this would have happened without Darby. He's the instigator," Dellapiana argued.