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Two charged with murdering Sandy teen in front of his home

Mother charged with lying to police about her son being in car when killing occurred

Emmanuel Augustus Espinoza, 20, of West Jordan, was charged Tuesday, June 2, 2020, with murder and other charges in the shooting death of Henry Wood, 17, who was gunned down in front of his Sandy home.
Emmanuel Augustus Espinoza, 20, of West Jordan, was charged Tuesday, June 2, 2020, with murder and other charges in the shooting death of Henry Wood, 17, who was gunned down in front of his Sandy home.
Salt Lake County Jail

SANDY — Criminal charges were filed Tuesday against two men accused of gunning down a teenager in front of his Sandy home.

James Edward Smith, 19, of Midvale, and Emmanuel Espinoza, 20, of West Jordan, were each charged with murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and seven counts of firing a gun, a third-degree felony.

James Edward Smith, 19, of Midvale, was charged Tuesday, June 2, 2020, with murder and other charges in the shooting death of Henry Wood, 17, who was gunned down in front of his Sandy home.
James Edward Smith, 19, of Midvale, was charged Tuesday, June 2, 2020, with murder and other charges in the shooting death of Henry Wood, 17, who was gunned down in front of his Sandy home.
Salt Lake County Jail

Smith’s mother, Dina Marie Smith, 58, of Midvale, was also charged Tuesday with obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.

On May 22, Henry Wood, 17, was shot and killed at 1107 E. Saphire Drive.

“Detectives located eight bullet holes to the residence, with some of those rounds penetrating the house,” according to charging documents.

Investigators found several videos from RING doorbell cameras showing the suspect’s vehicle, the charges state. One video showed Wood walking out of his house after the first shots were fired, then getting hit and falling to the ground.

Other witnesses saw the SUV as it sped away, nearly causing an accident. After police released surveillance footage of the SUV asking for the public’s help identifying it, detectives received several calls from people stating that it was owned by Dina Smith, the charges state.

Police located the vehicle, but Dina Smith is accused of lying to investigators about who had been driving it. Two shell casings and an unfired round were found inside the SUV, police say.

When interviewed by police, James Smith allegedly admitted to exchanging messages with Wood the day before the shooting.

“He said that Henry was upset with him over a rumor. James decided to go talk to Henry,” according to charging documents. On the way to Wood’s house, Smith said he picked up Espinoza who allegedly fired at Wood’s home as they drove by.

A friend of the teenager reported to police that Smith had been giving him a “a hard time” and he had asked Wood to talk to Smith about it. After the shooting, Smith sent the friend a message stating, “ur homie jus got smoked,” the charges state.

After the shooting, Espinoza’s girlfriend told police that he went to her work “and told her that there was a family emergency and that they needed to leave for Texas,” the charges state. “They went to their apartment and packed a couple bags of clothes for the trip.”

Dina Marie Smith, 58, of Midvale, was charged Tuesday, June 2, 2020, with obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, in the shooting death of Henry Wood, 17. Smith’s son, James Edward Smith, 19, is charged with murder.
Dina Marie Smith, 58, of Midvale, was charged Tuesday, June 2, 2020, with obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, in the shooting death of Henry Wood, 17. Smith’s son, James Edward Smith, 19, is charged with murder.
Salt Lake County Jail