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