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Based on new information revealed Friday, there seems to be confusion about exactly who killed Krystal Flores two years ago when vengeful gang members mistakenly burst into the wrong home and began shooting.
Three men were initially charged with Flores' murder two whom eyewitnesses said entered the Salt Lake City home with firearms in the early hours of July 19, 2009 and one who acted as a lookout. Prosecutors charged all three with murder, but court documents pointed to 30-year-old Alexander Bloomfield as the likely triggerman.
But according to testimony during a Friday preliminary hearing, yet another man recently confessed to shooting at the 21-year-old victim, who was asleep on a couch in the living room of 1309 S. Stewart St. (1500 West).
Salt Lake City police Detective Justin Hudson testified Friday that 27-year-old Nitokalisi Niki Fonua told him during an interview earlier this month that he shot the woman in the head.
Hudson said that Fonua, who is a member of the Baby Regulator gang, was seeking revenge on rival Tongan Crip Gang members for a drive-by shooting.
But Fonua who said he was carrying a rifle immediately recognized he was at the wrong house because the occupants were not Tongans, Hudson testified.
As Fonua began backing out of the home, it appeared to him that Flores was on the telephone, Hudson testified.
"He said he pulled the trigger in an effort to scare her into not calling the police," Hudson added.
Possible contradictory testimony came earlier this month from Juan Rodriguez, who lived at the home. He identified Bloomfield and Pailate K. Lomu, 21, as being the intruders, saying Bloomfield had a rifle and Lomu carried a handgun. Juan Rodriguez's sister, Laura Rodriguez, also identified Bloomfield as the rifleman.
A spent .22-caliber shell casing was found inside the home, and Flores was killed with a .22 bullet, according to charging documents. Casings from both a 9mm and a .40-caliber weapon were found outside in the street, Hudson said.
Lomu's defense attorney, Chad Steur, said Friday "the complexion of the case has changed dramatically" due to the new information about Fonua who was charged with murder Jan. 14.
But prosecutors insist that Fonua's alleged confession does not exclude Bloomfield and Lomu from being inside the home, or exclude either of them from firing the bullet that killed Flores. The preliminary hearing for Bloomfield and Lomu is scheduled to continue Feb. 25 before 3rd District Judge Deno Himonas.
George B. Angilau, 20, who allegedly shot and wounded a man at a nearby gang house while acting as a lookout, waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Angilau and Fonua both have scheduling hearings Jan. 31.
A fifth defendant, Shannon Moala, 32, who is Bloomfield's former girlfriend, has testified that she and the other defendants were attending a party when the men decided to carry out a shooting in the Glendale area of Salt Lake City.
Moala said she watched Lomu whose home was the target of a drive-by shooting in June 2009 load a rifle into a car and drive off with Angilau and Fonua. When she and Bloomfield drove away soon after, she believed they were going home.
She fell asleep in the car but awoke to gunshots and realized they were in Glendale. She later lied to police about her knowledge of the shooting.
Moala, pleaded guilty to second-degree felony obstructing justice and class A misdemeanor negligent homicide.