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Kearns man sent to prison for fatal Kohl's stabbing

Published September 28, 2012 3:49 pm

Court • Gonzalez said he stabbed the man in self-defense.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Kearns man has been sentenced to prison for fatally stabbing a man in the bathroom of a West Valley City department store last year.

Jose Angel Gonzalez will spend at least 21 years in prison for the August 2011 slaying of George Davila.

The 22-year-old Gonzalez claimed at trial last month in 3rd District Court that he was only defending himself against the 24-year-old Davila. But prosecutor Sandi Johnson said at the time that Davila was unarmed.

Gonzalez, said to be a member of the Dog Town gang, "brought a knife to a fist fight" with Davila, who used to associate with members of a rival gang, she said.

Gonzalez was convicted of first-degree felony murder, second-degree felony obstructing justice, and third-degree felony unlawful possession of a weapon. On Friday, Judge Vernice Trease ordered his sentences to run consecutively, meaning he will spend at least 21 years in prison, and possibly up to life.

According to testimony, Gonzalez was standing outside the Kohl's on Aug. 9, when he said something to Davila and a group of others walking in the store.

Inside the sore, Davila took his girlfriend's 4-year-old nephew into a restroom. As he was walking out, Gonzalez walked in.

After Gonzalez said something, a fight broke out.

Davila started to chase the man but noticed he was bleeding from his side, according to witnesses. On the way to the hospital, Davila complained his "vision was going white," and he eventually died from the stab wound to his spleen.

afalk@sltrib.com

Twitter: @aaronfalk