Prosecutors present evidence against first of six accused killing of Utah teen
New details surrounding the mysterious Aug. 29 death of Salt Lake City teenager Kenyatta Winston emerged Thursday as prosecutors presented evidence against the first of several people charged in his murder.
Brittney Montano, 21, is charged with obstructing service of a Board of Pardons warrant for allegedly helping Frank Reyos flee from police about two weeks after the 16-year-old's body was found in a vacant Sugar House lot. She faces up to five years in prison if convicted of the third-degree felony.
A Third District judge ruled Thursday that Montano should stand trial on the charge. Throughout the proceedings, Montano sat quietly, occasionally leaning over to whisper to her defense attorneys.
Inches away sat Reyos, 31, who has been charged with aggravated murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, first- and second-degree felonies for which he could spend up to life in prison.
Reyos and Montano were both taken into custody on Sept. 11, 2012, after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase through the city.
Unified Police Detective Nate Clark testified that he was looking for the green Honda Accord in which Winston was last seen when he saw Montano getting out of that car in the parking lot of a motel near 1000 S. Main St. When Montano saw the uniformed officer, he said, her eyes widened.
She stared at him for a moment and called into the seemingly empty vehicle as he backed away, he said.
Moments later, Clark said, the green car tore out of the lot and sped down Main Street, turned onto 900 South and "became very erratic." At times, he estimated, the car's speed exceeded 100 miles per hour.
When police finally stopped the vehicle by bumping it from behind and causing it to spin out, Montano and Reyos were thrown from the vehicle, Clark said. Both were treated for minor injuries, then transported to the Salt Lake City jail.
Investigators found a loaded .22 caliber semiautomatic silver handgun on the driver's seat and "presumptively blood spatter" inside, according to court documents.
Defense attorneys pointed out that the gun did not match the weapon officials believe was used in Winston's homicide.
Though six people were arrested in the case, no motive has been identified. Charges against one of the suspects were dismissed.
Jessica Reyos, 38, is the accused triggerman's sister. She was charged with lying to police about who borrowed the car in which Winston was last seen.
Shelby Glenda Reed, 19, was charged with obstructing justice for allegedly lying to police and later helping clean up a motel room "to get rid of evidence that would link Winston and others to the motel room," according to court documents.
Both Jessica Reyos and Reed will appear for preliminary hearings this month.
David Angel Montes, who was also charged with murder, has a preliminary hearing set for May. Investigators believe Montes was present when Reyos allegedly shot Winston and that Montes drove the getaway car and helped to dump the body.