Charges: Utah murder defendant apparently believed victim had broken into his home

A man accused of fatally stabbing another man at a Magna gas station this month apparently believed the victim had broken into his home earlier that day, according to charging documents.

Jose Francisco Hernandez, 44, of West Valley City, is charged in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstructing justice in the Sept. 8 death of 29-year-old Eugene Edgar Rowland.

Witnesses told police that Hernandez ran up to Rowland at a Shell gas station at 7210 W. 3500 South and said, “I’ll kill you,” before stabbing Rowland with a large black-handled kitchen knife, charges state.

As Hernandez left the area in a car driven by another man, Hernandez allegedly said, “That guy won’t bother me again.”

Rowland, who was stabbed several times, died at a hospital.

The driver of the car later told police that he and another man were driving past the gas station when they recognized Rowland as someone Hernandez was looking for.

The driver said he drove to Hernandez’s residence and brought him back to the gas station, thinking Hernandez was going to beat up the victim, charges state.

Hernandez was arrested later that day at his home. During a search, police found a kitchen knife that matched the description of the murder weapon in a dish-drying rack, charges state. The knife appeared to have been cleaned.

Hernandez is expected in court Friday for a scheduling hearing. Meanwhile, he is being held at the Salt Lake County jail in lieu of $1 million bail, cash-only.

Police said earlier this month that Hernandez and the victim knew each other, and have had “various disagreements over the past few weeks.”