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Arrests expected soon in eastern Utah beating that put man in coma

Published May 21, 2013 2:50 pm

Roosevelt assault • Search for three males, one female focused on Uintah and Ouray Reservation.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police are confident they are closing in on four suspects sought in a gang-related beating that left an eastern Utah man critically injured and in a coma.

Roosevelt police Detective Pete Butcher said Tuesday that his office, the Uintah County Sheriff's Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Northern Ute Tribe were cooperating in the effort to bring the four — two men, a 17-year-old boy and a woman — to justice.

"Anytime we obtain arrest warrants and get them out like we did on Monday, we're moving in the right direction. We have video surveillance photos of the crime, physical evidence and have interviewed several witnesses," Butcher said. "We do think they are still in the area and hope to have them in custody soon."

In 8th District Court, prosecutors have filed second-degree felony aggravated assault and second-degree felony theft charges against Emmett Duncan Jr., 30; Eric Welsh Jr., 23; and Megan Murray, 28. Those three, along with the unidentified boy, are accused in a May 15 assault on Johnny Maez in the parking lot of a Maverik convenience store just outside of Roosevelt.

The suspects are believed to have fled onto eastern Utah's Uintah and Ouray Reservation after the attack.

Maez suffered massive head trauma during the beating, which occurred during a confrontation with the suspects as he fueled his car at the gas station.

At some point, Maez allegedly pulled a 9 mm handgun. But the suspects took ithe gun away from him and beat him on the head with it as Maez's wife looked on in horror.

Maez was rushed to Uintah Basin Medical Center and later taken by helicopter to another, unidentified hospital where he remained in critical condition Tuesday.

Maez had been scheduled to appear Monday for a pretrial conference on misdemeanor charges of assault, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.

Police would not speculate whether that case and the attack at the gas station were connected.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims