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Two men ordered to trial in Salt Lake City smoke shop slaying

Published October 22, 2012 2:28 pm

Courts • Alleged triggerman, alleged getaway driver are charged with murder.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Two men accused in the March shooting death of a Salt Lake City smoke shop employee have been ordered to stand trial.

During a preliminary hearing earlier this month, Yelfris Sosa-Hurtado was accused of fatally shooting Stephen Guadalupe Chavez on March 14 at C.J.'s Smoke Shop. Vladimir Suarez-Campos is accused of being the alleged getaway driver.

Third District Judge Katie Bernards-Goodman had taken the case under advisement, but ruled Monday that both men should stand trial on the charges against them.

Sosa-Hurtado is charged with aggravated murder and nine counts of felony discharge of a firearm. Prosecutors could seek the death penalty in his case.

Suarez-Campos, who was allegedly waiting in the car outside the shop during the shooting, faces one count of first-degree felony murder and nine counts of felony discharge of a firearm.

According to testimony, Sosa-Hurtado, 26, got into a fight with Chavez, also 26, at the smoke shop on the night of March 14. Half an hour later, Sosa-Hurtado allegedly came back to the shop and fatally shot Chavez.

None of the witnesses to the March 14 shooting of Chavez identified Suarez-Campos, 38, as the getaway driver, prompting a defense attorney to ask for a dismissal.

But prosecutors believe Suarez-Campos was the driver because he and Sosa-Hurtado were seen together before and after the shooting. Cell phone records and cell phone tower pings also add to the circumstantial case against Suarez-Campos, prosecutors said.


Twitter: @aaronfalk






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