Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Four sentenced to probation for aiding in 2012 Utah killing
Courts » All four helped in testifying against alleged shooter, Gabriel Samson Gurule.
First Published May 06 2014 02:43 pm • Last Updated May 08 2014 07:24 pm

West Jordan » If there is any good that can come from a night fueled by drugs and greed that left a 32-year-old man dead, a judge said Tuesday, it must come in the form of redemption.

Four of the five people charged in connection with the 2012 shooting of Justen L. LeFave appeared in court Tuesday with similar tales: They’ve changed, they said. They’ve learned. They’re sorry.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

But it was their actions, not their words, that prompted 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris to dole out penalties that include community service and probation — but no more time behind bars.

Alexis Kelley Hughes, 26, Anthony David Martinez, 31, and Amy Virginia Rowley, 37, were sentenced to serve three years’ probation, the terms of which include community service, counseling, substance-abuse treatment and paying thousands of dollars in restitution to LeFave’s family.

Although each has spent no less than one year in jail, the judge reminded them that they were being rewarded for their decision to cooperate with authorities and assist in the conviction of accused murderer Gabriel Samson Gurule, 35, who is awaiting sentencing.

"The type of crime you were involved in here is unforgivable," Kouris told them. "But you also helped bring a lot of closure to this family."

The judge declared the case closed against Abigail Jennings, 36, who was accused of plotting to rob LeFave with the others, in light of the fact that she’s already spent a year in jail, attended substance-abuse treatment and performed 100 hours of community service.

At Gurule’s preliminary hearing last year, the four testified about their roles in the events on Aug. 26, 2012.

According to investigators, the group of five had agreed to rob LeFave at his Midvale apartment, located near 7000 South and State Street.

According to the original plan, Jennings was going to stay with LeFave until he fell asleep, then alert the others. When that plan failed, prosecutors said, Gurule, Martinez, Hughes and Rowley came back days later to finish the job.

story continues below
story continues below

Gurule shot LeFave at point-blank range over the threshold of LeFave’s apartment, according to testimony.

After the shooting, all four fled the area, court documents say. The group cleaned the gun and Martinez and Hughes allegedly dumped the weapon in Mill Creek Canyon.

LeFave’s family addressed the court before each sentencing, which the judge doled out one after the other.

Family members wept as they described life without LeFave and rattled off the names of the 10 nieces and nephews who will never be able to talk or play with their beloved uncle again.

But mostly, the family talked about forgiveness.

"You took part in the murder of a wonderful man," said Zen Orawiec, LeFave’s mother. "Every journey is hard and filled with challenges. ... I hope that you now have an opportunity to do something different with your life."

Prosecutors originally were going to ask that Martinez, who was charged with murder, aggravated robbery and obstructing justice for allegedly plotting the crime, acting as a getaway driver and helping to get rid of the weapon, complete a two-year stint behind bars.

But LeFave’s family said they felt he should be released sooner and given a chance to make something better of his life.

As the defendants took their turns before the judge Tuesday, they offered apologies and proof of their rehabilitation.

Hughes, who was originally charged with first-degree felony murder and aggravated robbery for allegedly knocking at LeFave’s door and asking him for directions to another building as Gurule stepped up from behind her and fired the fatal shot, has gotten a job, received treatment, stayed clean.

She had her lawyer read a written statement Tuesday because she told him, "she didn’t think she could get through it in one piece."

Next Page >

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
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.