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Accomplice in Utah triple murder sentenced to jail, probation

Published March 28, 2014 11:17 am

Courts • He will testify against alleged shooter as part of deal.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The man who was present during a triple homicide at a Midvale home last year will remain in jail for at least two more years, until he testifies against the alleged triggerman at trial.

Davis Romney Fotu, 33, was sentenced Friday in 3rd District Court to spend three years — or however long it takes to bring David Fresques to trial for the February 2013 slaying of three people — in jail after he pleaded guilty to obstructing justice in connection with the murders.

Judge Terry Christiansen said Fotu will then be released and put on strict zero-tolerance probation for three years.

That means he will be required to find and keep a job, stay away from drugs, alcohol and known gang members and commit no crimes.

Should he violate the terms of his probation, Fotu could be sent to prison.

In October, Fotu, whose attorney said last month he felt bad for the families of those killed and wanted to do the right thing by testifying, pleaded guilty to second-degree felony obstructing justice, for which the maximum penalty is 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors let Fotu off the hook for prison after he agreed to testify against Fresques in the triple homicide that left Omar Jarman, 35, Danielle Lucero, 26, and Shontay Young, 34, dead inside a Midvale home.

Fresques, 26, faces three counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted aggravated murder in connection with the slayings.

Fotu's cooperation helped prosecutors build a case against Fresques that resulted in a judge ordering him to stand trial for the killings.

Fotu testified during a February preliminary hearing that Fresques shot up the home at 8286 S. Adams St. (450 West) while Fotu and his then-girlfriend were inside.

Though Fotu said he didn't see anyone get shot, he heard the sound of gunfire. He didn't understand why Fresques began shooting, he testified.

According to other witnesses, drug deals were a frequent occurrence at the home and drew a constant parade of people.

Fresques, who had been to the home before, knew the people who lived there and at least two of the alleged victims.

Jarman, whom witnesses testified Fresques considered a snitch, was shot as he sat on a chair in the living room of the home. Young, who was asleep in a recliner in the same room, was killed in her sleep.

Lucero, who was found in bed inside an upstairs bedroom, was shot twice. It was not immediately clear whether Fresques had ever met Lucero.

Fresques has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

His attorneys have argued the state's case is unreliable and inconsistent — based heavily on witnesses who had been doing drugs and committing crimes of their own at the time of the killings.

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Fresques in this case, which has been set for a four-week trial in March 2015.

mlang@sltrib.com.

Twitter: @Marissa_Jae