Trial scheduled to move forward for Pineview boaters
Published: December 20, 2012 07:25AM
Updated: February 12, 2013 01:20PM
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Skyler Shepherd listens to witness testimonies during his trial at the 2nd District Court in Ogden on Thursday, December 13, 2012. (KERA WILLIAMS/ Standard-Examiner)

A trial for two of the three men charged in connection to a boating accident that killed a swimmer at Pineview Reservoir last year is scheduled to go forward, despite a guilty verdict handed down to the boat owner last week.

A six-person jury found Skyler Shepherd, 22, guilty last Friday of misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment, obstruction of justice and failure to render aid for his role in the accident.

Two of Shepherd’s friends, Colton Raines, 23, and Robert Cole Boyer, 30, are also charged with obstructing justice. And Raines, who was driving the boat when swimmer Esther Fujimoto, 49, was hit, is charged with reckless endangerment and failure to render aid.

On Wednesday in 2nd District Court, the jury trial for Raines and Boyer was confirmed to go forward in February, though another pretrial conference was set in three weeks, said defense attorney Greg Skordas.

Skordas, who represents both Boyer and Raines, said Tuesday that Shepherd’s guilty verdict will affect their defense strategies, but said a plea deal for Boyer and Raines has not been discussed, though that conversation may be premature.

“It hasn’t come up,” Skordas said. “There hasn’t been any reason to talk about it. Now [the trial] is two months away, you will always sit down [with prosecutors] and talk about it.”

According to testimony during Shepherd’s trial, the three men were boating near the Spring Creek Cove area of the reservoir at about 8 p.m. on Aug. 21, 2011, after drinking with friends earlier in the day. Witnesses who were with the men that day testified that Raines and Boyer also had smoked marijuana.

Raines was driving the boat at the time of the accident, but Shepherd took the wheel and circled back to check on Fujimoto. He told police that Fujimoto said she was OK, so they left her in the water.

But Chief Medical Examiner Todd Grey testified that the injuries to Fujimoto’s lower abdomen and legs meant she likely would have been in severe pain. She died soon after a lake shore resident who heard her screams rowed out to rescue her.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller