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18-year-old Tooele man charged in fatal shooting

TOOELE — An 18-year-old Tooele man was arrested and charged Thursday with the slaying of Richard Martinez.

Martinez, 24, was shot once in the chest Tuesday evening after an apparent argument near Settlement Canyon Dam.

Daniel Herrera was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, and two second-degree felonies, possession of a firearm by a restricted person and obstructing justice.

Charging documents state Herrera shot Martinez in the chest.

According to court documents, Herrera stashed the .22-caliber handgun used in the shooting at a friend's home in Salt Lake City and went back to Tooele.

Herrera, who has a violent juvenile record, is forbidden to possess a firearm, said deputy Tooele County attorney Gary Searle.

A tip to Tooele police Thursday led them to believe Herrera was involved in the shooting and that he had gone to Salt Lake City, so officers went to a home there to look for him. They did not find Herrera, but they recovered a gun.

Herrera was arrested at 2:30 a.m. in Tooele.

Third District Judge Randall Skanchy appointed Scott Broadhead to represent Herrera after Herrera, who appeared dressed in a jail uniform and bulletproof vest, said he can't afford to pay an attorney.

Herrera will be in court Oct. 5 for a roll-call hearing.

Details about the night Martinez was killed are still emerging.

In a press conference Thursday morning, Searle said Martinez and a friend were walking dogs at the reservoir Tuesday night. The friend told police that while he walked some of the dogs along an embankment above the water, he heard an argument between Martinez and another man and then saw a red Cadillac with at least two people inside it leave the area.

The friend went down the 30-foot embankment out of sight of Martinez to let the dogs play in the water. About 30 minutes later, he heard shouting again and the pop of a gunshot.

He made his way back up the embankment and found Martinez walking toward him saying he'd been shot, Searle said.

The two men got in Martinez's truck and began to drive to the nearest hospital, but the friend realized they weren't going to make it, so he called 911 on a cell phone. Emergency responders were unable to save Martinez's life.

Martinez's neighbor, Amber Adams, said she knew something was wrong when his truck wasn't in his driveway at 3 a.m. Wednesday.

That's when he always gets home, she said.

Martinez was remembered as a great neighbor and a great friend.

Adams lit a candle Wednesday and placed it on a table on the porch of Martinez's red-brick house. By Thursday afternoon, there were nine candles. Twenty-one roses had been scattered on his porch and walk leading to the home.

A sign was placed on his door.

"Richard, I will deeply miss you. You were greatly loved by all," said one signed Tiffany Naill.

Adams called the killing a "senseless waste of life."

Martinez's family declined to comment Thursday, but friend Carl Todd said he talked to Martinez Monday and everything seemed to be fine.

"I don't know why anyone would do that to him," he said. "He wasn't out looking for fights. He was a good guy — someone to look up to."


E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com