A man charged with murder for shooting a Kearns High School classmate three years ago pleaded guilty Wednesday.
Ricky Angilau, 18, admitted in 3rd District Court to shooting and killing 16-year-old Esteban Saidi on Jan. 21, 2009, when he was a juvenile. As a result of the confession and plea deal, the state amended the charge of murder to manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and dismissed all remaining charges against Angilau, including obstruction of justice, carrying a concealed dangerous weapon, and possession of a firearm on school premises.
At a preliminary hearing in April 2011, two teenage witnesses gave accounts of events that led to Saidi’s slaying a few blocks from the Salt Lake County high school. One teen said Angilau — who was then 16 — shot into a crowd because he was intimidated by gang members who had gathered to watch the fight. Another painted Angilau as a teenager who wanted to out-bully his nemesis, with Saidi getting caught in the crossfire.
Angilau’s defense attorneys had argued he acted in self-defense when he shot Saidi.
Prosecutors have said Angilau acted with "depraved indifference to human life," which they initially said warranted a murder conviction.
Sentencing for Angilau is scheduled for Aug. 17, which is when he would have went to trial on the murder charge.
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