Utah triple homicide: One of dead identified as ex-con
Midvale • His backyard had turned into a trash pit. His tenants were allegedly behind on rent, but they nonetheless apparently decided to add onto his Midvale house so more people could live there.
But the last straw for landlord Jose Velazquez was when police broke out the doors and windows to the home at 8286 S. Adams St. (450 West) when they served a narcotics search warrant in January.
In late January, Velazquez filed eviction papers in 3rd District Court in an effort to oust tenants Jose Fernando Garcia and Esther Arredondo after five months of residency.
Tuesday, as the eviction case was still wending its way through court, the home became the scene of a deadly shooting Tuesday that left three people dead including an ex-con with a long criminal history including drug possession and distribution and a woman seriously injured.
"What a mess," Velazquez said.
Wednesday, Garcia was arrested on suspicion of obstructing justice, a first-degree felony, in the case, Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal confirmed. Garcia also was being held at the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of the misdemeanor crimes of lewdness, never obtaining a driver license, operating a vehicle without insurance and driving on a suspended driver license, jail records show.
On Wednesday, the Unified Police Department identified the three people killed in the shooting as Omar Paul Jarman, 35, Shontay Nichole Young, 34, and Danielle Beatrice Lucero, 26.
On the day of the shooting, prosecutors in 3rd District Court filed a third-degree felony charge of unlawful possession of another's identification and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor, against Lucero. Court documents allege that Lucero and another man were inside a car using heroin in West Valley City earlier this month and that Lucero had identification cards belonging to four other women.
Lucero was scheduled to make an initial appearance on the charges on Thursday.
Court records for Young show that she had been charged with a few misdemeanors including shoplifting and disorderly conduct between 2003 and 2010 but had no cases pending.
The third woman, rushed to the hospital in critical condition, had been updated to serious condition as of Wednesday and was expected to survive.
Four other residents of the house Garcia, two males and a female were uninjured and are being questioned by detectives.
Police have identified David Fresques, 25, as one of two suspects in the slayings. Police had not identified a second suspect except to say he is an adult male. Both remain at large.
When Garcia and Arredondo signed their lease in September 2012, Velazquez said the duo, along with two children and Garcia's brother, were supposed to be the only ones living in the residence. He didn't know them.
"They were strangers," Velazquez said. "They said they came from California."
But it didn't take long for his friends and neighbors to start calling him to report "a lot of cars" had been stopping by his rental home.
When he noticed his tenants were building extra rooms onto his home a violation of their lease they told him that sometimes they had friends come down at night to stay with them.
Hoyal said detectives have learned that Fresques was "an associate of the individuals" who lived in the home where the homicides occurred. Velazquez said he didn't know Fresques, a parolee who was released from prison Nov. 6, or Jarman, who also has an extensive criminal history.
Jarman's criminal record goes back to 1999, and in addition to a raft of traffic violations, domestic violence and child-support issues, includes felony drug possession and distribution counts.
On Jan. 28, a 3rd District judge had issued an arrest warrant for Jarman after he failed to appear in court on a charge of third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance.
That case stemmed from a Jan. 7 traffic stop in Salt Lake County, in which Jarman consented to a search and the officer found a baggie of a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine, according to charging documents. The stop was in the area of 7200 South and State Street, about a mile from the scene of Tuesday's shooting.
When his tenants, whom he described as low income, started to fall behind on rent, the local LDS ward pitched in and paid half the rent for the past four months, Velazquez said. When his tenants did pay their portion, he said they usually did so in cash.
Meanwhile, trash old tires, auto parts and furniture began to pile up, and Velazquez started getting warnings from Midvale city officials.
But he said he never saw any drugs inside the home.
Hoyal said officers had conducted some controlled buys at the home, which were then used as probable cause to obtain a warrant to search for drugs.
When the warrant was served, no drugs were found, but officers did cite several individuals at the home for possessing drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor offense, he said.
When Velazquez arrived to pick up rent, he immediately noticed the doors and windows were broken. He said his tenants told him that the home had been raided but no drugs or weapons had been found.
"I need to clean up my house and you need to get out," he said he told his renters.
Garcia and Arredondo were challenging the eviction suit. In a Feb. 8 response to the eviction suit, Garcia and Arredondo noted that they were not behind on rent and any damage to the home was the police's fault "when the [sic] served a search warrant in which Jose is being wrongfully accused of [and] is in the process of court proceeding in a seperate [sic] case." The trash was from the previous tenant, they said.
As for Fresques, he was sent to Utah State Prison in 2008 for one to 15 years in a robbery case. He was paroled in July 2010 but was returned to prison on a parole violation. He was most recently paroled in November, according to parole authorities.
Hoyal said Fresques was last seen driving a white Nissan Maxima, which police found several hours after the slayings at a Midvale Motel 6, 7263 Catalpa Road (500 West). The motel was cleared of guests and searched, but Fresques was not found.
Efforts were still under way Wednesday to identify and notify next of kin of the two slain women.
Hoyal asked that anyone with information about this case call the UPD at 801-743-7000. Under no circumstances should members of the public approach Fresques, who is considered armed and dangerous.
-Tribune Reporter Kimball Bennion contributed to this report