Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah Prison inmate pleads guilty to killing cellmate in fight
First Published Nov 21 2012 08:31 am • Last Updated Mar 06 2013 11:33 pm

A Utah State Prison inmate has pleaded guilty to killing his cellmate in a fight last year.

Jacob Paul Ecker, 24, pleaded guilty Tuesday in 3rd District Court to a first-degree felony manslaughter charge for the April 27, 2011, beating death of Alfonso Lopez. Prosecutors originally charged Ecker with murder.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Ecker and Lopez, 27, were friends who had requested to bunk together at the prison. But, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing last year, tensions had been building between them.

Ecker later told detectives that he "let loose" on his friend and punched him twice.

"Once [Lopez] was on the ground, [Ecker’s] rage continued," Unified Police Detective Christine Petty-Brown testified at that preliminary hearing. "He said he was sadistic and he enjoyed seeing Lopez hurt."

According to court documents, Lopez suffered a collapsed lung and a lacerated heart and liver as a result of the attack. He died of "massive internal bleeding."

"Usually when I see something like that it’s a motor vehicle collision ... or blunt force trauma with a baseball bat," assistant medical examiner Pamela Ulmer testified last year. "I [saw] similar heart damage this week in someone who fell five stories."

Ecker was serving a term of up to five years on a number of felony counts stemming from a March 2010 arrest. Police found a hatchet in Ecker’s backpack after he threatened a man’s life at the Salt Lake City Main Library, according to court documents.

He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 15 by Judge Mark Kouris.

afalk@sltrib.com


story continues below
story continues below



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.