A rape suspect accused of murdering a Roosevelt man and taking off to Arizona in the victim’s car made his initial appearance Tuesday in 8th District Court on a first-degree murder charge.
Jesse Anthony Saenz was charged with the murder of Elvis Zachary Olsen on Thursday, along with counts of theft and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, which are second-degree felonies.
Olsen, 22, was found shot to death on April 21 near Fort Duchesne on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. Olsen’s Mazda 3S had been stolen.
Uintah County investigators tracked Saenz to Arizona three days later, where he was allegedly found driving Olsen’s car.
The Uintah County Sheriff’s Office has so far been unable to establish a motive for the killing of Olsen, a convicted sex offender. Saenz has not been cooperative with investigators since his arrest.
Saenz appeared at his Tuesday hearing in Vernal with Clint Hendricks as his defense counsel. Hendricks requested a status hearing for June 18 to schedule Saenz’s case along with the pending rape case, for which Hendricks is also representing Saenz.
Saenz faces charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, forcible sodomy, object rape and forcible sexual abuse — all first-degree felonies — for allegedly following a woman home from a night club in June 2012, assaulting and raping her outside of an apartment complex.
Saenz was out on bail during Olsen’s alleged murder and had an ankle monitor. He allegedly cut the ankle monitor in Roosevelt on the day of Olsen’s death.