Courts • Convicted kidnapper says alleged eyewitness is lying.
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Draper • Daniel Robert Lehi Ferry may be a convicted felon, a self-admitted drug dealer, addict and gang member, but he says there's one thing he's definitely not a killer of teenage girls.
"Everybody knows I'm no angel, but I know what I'm not," Ferry said Wednesday from a visiting booth in a maximum-security Draper prison where he's serving one to 15 years for an unrelated kidnapping.
Cuffed and dressed in prison clothing, a now-sober Ferry spoke publicly for the first time about his alleged role in the murder of 15-year-old Anne Kasprzak.
"I didn't kill nobody," he said. "I'm a lot of things in life. I ain't no rapo. I ain't never killed nobody."
It's been nearly five months since Ferry, 32, and Veaniua Vehikite, 30, were first arrested on suspicion of murdering Kasprzak, whose body was found in the Jordan River on March 11, the day after she disappeared from her Riverton home.
"I think they thought because I had been a gang member, been to prison, it was an open-and-shut case," he said. "Think I'm a scumbag, think I'm an addict, whatever I do not kill little girls."
As of Wednesday, Ferry still hasn't been charged with any crime related to the teen's slaying.
"We're still receiving information regarding the case," said Draper police Sgt. Chad Carpenter. "We want to make sure we have everything we can before we present it to the DA's Office. We want to make the case airtight before we present it."
Carpenter said detectives have received DNA testing and toxicology results back, but are not yet releasing the findings.
Members of the Kasprzak family declined to comment regarding Ferry's comments and the progress of the investigation.
Ferry believes the DNA testing will conclusively clear him of all charges in connection with Kasprzak's death and would like to know what they show.
"They'll never find no evidence that I was there," he said. "Second, my wife would have stabbed me [if I had been hitting on anyone else.]"
He said the first indication he had that anything was amiss was when nearly 100 Joint Criminal Apprehension Team officers surrounded him, cuffed him and hauled him to the Draper Police Department on March 19.
Thinking the "weirdos" were going to question him about drugs, Ferry said he was pretty shocked when they started asking him about a girl named Anne Kasprzak.
"Who the hell is Anne?" he said he asked. He said a picture of the girl didn't jog his memory. Detectives finally told him she was dead and Ferry said he demanded a lawyer.
"Next thing I know, I'm in jail and watching it on the news," he said.
In the meantime, he said, authorities are dragging his name through the mud and linking him to the death of a girl he had never met.
"There's a reason why they've never charged me," Ferry said. "That girl's story made absolutely no sense. They have to know by now that she lied. That her story doesn't add up."
The "girl," he's referring to, is an alleged eyewitness who told Draper detectives that Kazprzak went to Ferry's Sandy-area home where he was living with his parents and wife the night Kazprzak died. The witness told police that Ferry knocked the girl unconscious after she would not have sex with him. Ferry, Vehekite and an as yet unidentified man named "L.J." then changed the girl's clothes, put her into a tarp, placed her in an SUV and drove away, the witness claimed, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Hours later, the witness told police that the three men returned, covered in blood, and Ferry announced that Kazprzak "went swimming" and "put up one hell of a fight."
Ferry unequivocally says he and Vehekite, who he described as one of his best friends, had nothing to do with Kasprzak's death. He said he has no idea who "L.J." is.
He said he had given the alleged eyewitness heroin in return for use of her vehicle, but she was furious when he cut her off just days before Kasprzak's death. The eyewitness would occasionally visit Ferry's parent's home, which is why she knows what the inside looks like, he said.
"Really, I think she's just a hateful person," Ferry said. "She made up the whole thing. Somebody who is just mad at you can just wreck your life so badly. I truly know what it's like to be a victim [now]."
He said he would never cover for a child murderer and believes the real killer is still out there.
Police declined to comment on the progress of the investigation.
"When we arrested [Ferry], we had probable cause to believe he was involved in [the murder] based on the information we received," Carpenter said. "Anyone that we have worked on so far is still a suspect until we can prove otherwise."
Carpenter added: "There's nothing more we'd like to do than put that case to rest for the family. Even [for] Daniel Ferry. We want to make sure we present the best case possible and put it to bed."
Ferry said that when he's cleared he wants an apology.
In the meantime, he said he's determined to remain drug-free while behind bars and hopes to learn a trade and obtain an associate's degree that he can use when he's paroled or released for the kidnapping case.
Ferry said if he's learned one thing from the experience, it's that nothing is worth going through all this.
"This is my eye opener," he said. "I'm retiring [from crime] after this."