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Utah man gets life in prison for fatally shooting men he asked for directions

Published November 2, 2013 8:32 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

A Murray man will spend the rest of his life in prison for fatally shooting two men following an argument over directions, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has decided.

Christian C. Sweeten, 31, pleaded guilty to the aggravated murders of Michael T. Ehlert and Anthony M. Gaines in August 2011.

Sweeten shot the two men in September 2008 after he asked them for directions and ended up back where he started, near 500 North and 1000 West in Salt Lake City. Sweeten, who turned himself into police hours later, initially claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot each man in the back.

Sweeten took a plea deal after prosecutors said they planned to seek the death penalty in the case.

A 3rd District judge sentenced him to two consecutive 20 years to life terms on the aggravated murder charges.

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