Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Authorities with West Valley City and the Weber County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a "body recovery" effort near Snowbasin Resort on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. The body is that of a male who was reported missing in December, according to West Valley City Deputy Chief Mike Powell (center). Powell declined to give additional information about the deceased person, or say what led officers to the Snowbasin location.The snow — up to 6 feet at the location in question — was making the body recovery difficult.
Four Utahns accused of kidnapping, murdering man appear in court

Courts » Man’s body found last week near Snowbasin Resort.

First Published Jan 14 2014 03:54 pm • Last Updated Jan 16 2014 10:05 pm

Four people who police believe were involved in the kidnapping and murder of a man whose body was found frozen beneath snow drifts near a Weber County ski resort made their initial appearances in court Tuesday.

Police believe Cleat Knight, 34, was shot to death in late November near Snowbasin Resort, though his body was not discovered by officials until last week.

Photos
Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

West Valley police arrested four people in connection to the man’s death, which was apparently sparked by a drug debt: Christopher Leech, 35; Villiamu Seumanu, 42; Tina Soules, 41; and Theron Myore, 42.

Leech and Seumanu are charged in 3rd District Court with murder and two counts of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies, as well as one count of obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony. Soules and Myore also face murder and kidnapping counts.

On Tuesday, all four made their initial appearances in court. A scheduling conference was set for Feb. 10.

The alleged crimes began in late November, when Soules drove Andrew Beck to a garage on Mann Way (4100 West) in West Valley City, according to charging documents.

Once at the garage, Leech tied Beck to a chair. Then, he had a conversation with Soules, Seumanu and Myore about how they were going to kill Beck and Knight, an acquaintance of Beck. During the conversation, Myore revealed he was carrying a .40 caliber Beretta, but Soules spoke up against killing Beck.

On Nov. 23, Leech, Seumanu, Myore and Soules loaded Beck into a truck. He was blindfolded and his hands were tied with wire, the charging documents reveal. Knight also was in the back of the truck, bound and blindfolded, though the documents do not say how he got there.

The four suspected killers, along with the captives, Beck and Knight, then set off for Weber County. En route, "Knight pleaded for his life and asked them not to go through with their plans," the charging documents add.

The group stopped near a gate in Weber Canyon, according to the documents. Beck and Knight walked about 100 yards, at which point Leech allegedly shot Knight in the back. Leech then handed the gun to Beck and ordered him to shoot Knight. If he didn’t, Leech reportedly threatened, he would die, too.


story continues below
story continues below

Beck fired. Knight "was left alone where he was shot," the court documents say.

The documents do not explain how West Valley City detectives cracked the case and located Knight’s snowy grave, though police have said the killing stemmed from a drug debt. There is no evidence of gang involvement, according to police.

Leech, Seumanu, Soules and Myore are all being held at the Salt Lake County jail, each in lieu of $1 million bail.

Knight’s relatives reported his disappearance to South Salt Lake police on Dec. 8. Subsequent investigation indicated Knight had been kidnapped in West Valley City, according to police.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller



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
  • Login to the Electronic 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.