This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
An 18-year-old man was charged Wednesday after allegedly killing a man near a Provo transient camp last week.
Enmanuel DePaz, 18, faces one count of murder, a first-degree felony, as well as three charges of obstructing justice as a second degree felony and one as a misdemeanor. He also is charged with possession of forged writing and two charges of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, all third-degree felonies, and possession of a deadly weapon with the intent to assault, a misdemeanor.
On Nov. 21, a railroad worker located a body near the train tracks at about 1640 South State, according to a probable cause statement. Officers identified the decedant as 24-year-old Ammon Brown, who had a deep gash in his neck, as well as head trauma. He lay about 50 yards south of a transient camp.
Witnesses told police that two men left the camp with Brown about 2 p.m. One apparently was carrying a large knife, according to witnesses, and the other had a baseball bat. Brown's body was located about 4 p.m.
Two days later, Utah Transit Authority police arrested DePaz at a train station in downtown Salt Lake City after video surveillance showed him walking with Brown and then leaving the area where the body was found. He was "still wearing the same clothing he had on in the video," the probable-cause statement says.
Police spoke to a 16-year-old boy who apparently was with DePaz during the incident. The juvenile told officers that DePaz was upset with Brown because Brown no longer wanted to join their gang, according to the probable-cause statement. When the three men walked to the area near the train tracks where Brown was killed, the 16-year-old boy said he wandered off to wait for DePaz, who was carrying a machete at the time.
When DePaz and the juvenile later boarded a UTA train, the probable-cause statement says, DePaz no longer had the machete and was acting strangely.
Officers obtained a search warrant for Brown's backpack, where they found a hatchet and a knife. Police did not locate a machete at the scene, but they said the knife belonged to Brown and that the hatchet belonged to a homeless person at the camp.
A medical examiner determined that Brown died from blunt force trauma from a hatchet or an ax, as well as from injuries by a sharp-edge weapon, such as a knife. DePaz told police that he was at the camp with Brown but denied leaving with him. DePaz has no prior criminal history in Utah.
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