Utah woman gets jail for lying to cops investigating fiance’s murder
A woman who changed her story again and again to police investigating her fiance’s murder has pleaded guilty Monday to reduced charges.
Morgan Maree Holst, 18, pleaded guilty in 3rd District Court to second-degree felony obstruction of justice, as well as first-degree felony aggravated robbery and second-degree felony burglary in an unrelated case. In exchange for the pleas, prosecutors dismissed aggravated kidnapping and retail theft charges.
Holst’s plead deal also includes a recommendation that she serve 365 days in jail followed by probation. Her attorney, Darwin Overson, said Holst will get credit for time she has already served while waiting for her cases to wrap up.
Holst’s obstruction case began after her fiance Sione Fakatoufifita, 19, was gunned down April 13 in the parking lot of a Maverik convenience store at 1680 S. Redwood Road. Detectives interviewed Holst later that day, and she told them that on April 12, Fakatoufifita was hanging out with his friends and she had been driving around looking for him, according to court documents.
Holst then changed her story twice. Among other things, Holst said she and Fakatoufifita were driving around together when he got out and later phoned her to call off their wedding. She later told police that she and Fakatoufifita had actually been driving through Glendale when he started throwing up gang signs, according to the documents.
Overson said Holst changed her story to police because she was scared.
In July, police arrested Vilisoni Angilau, 20, for killing Fakatoufifita. Police say Fakatoufifita and Angilau were members of rival gangs.
Holst’s robbery and burglary charges come from an Aug. 30 incident in which she participated in a robbery in Salt Lake County. Holst was one of five defendants in the case and Overson said prosecutors were willing to dismiss charges in the case because she played a smaller role in the incident than the others.
According to Overson, Holst faces a minimum of 20 years in prison if she fails to complete probation. He said that she will have to "toe the straight line" if she wants to succeed, but that he believes she will succeed because she has matured significantly in recently months.
Prosecutors who worked on the case could not immediately be reached for comment Monday afternoon.