Utah man and woman sentenced to prison in drug-related robbery, homicide

(Courtesy | Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office) Brody Richard Olson

A man and woman accused in the February shooting death of a man at a Salt Lake City apartment during a drug-related robbery have been sentenced to prison.

Brody Richard Olson, 37, of West Jordan, pleaded guilty in September to first-degree felony murder for fatally shooting 51-year-old Melvin Dyer while at the apartment to steal drugs.

Olson was sentenced last week to 15 years to life at the Utah State Prison by 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris.

Tonita Ronette Holland, 39, of West Valley City — who pleaded guilty to second-degree felony manslaughter for her role as getaway driver— was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison.

(Courtesy | Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office) Tonita Ronette Holland

Events leading up to the Feb. 17 shooting began about a month earlier when Holland was at the apartment, located at 1930 S. West Temple, and observed a resident, identified in charging documents as B. Ney, with a safe in his bedroom.

Ney later told police that at about 4:20 a.m. on Feb. 17, he got a text from Holland indicating she was coming over to buy methamphetamine. Two other men and two women were with Ney at about 5:30 a.m., when there was a knock on the door.

But instead of Holland, a man with a revolver — later identified as Olson — entered and ordered everyone to hand over their wallets, purses and cell phones, charges state.

After collecting $18 to $25 in cash, Olson demanded Ney’s safe. When Ney handed it over, the three others attacked Olson, while Ney dove under his bed and called 911, charges state.

Olson began firing his gun, hitting Dyer in the chest and killing him. Another bullet grazed a 35-year-old woman’s ear and another shot grazed the back of a 35-year-old man’s head.

Meanwhile, one victim bit Olson, and another hit him on the head numerous times with a flashlight.

Holland, who drove Olson to the apartment in a stolen SUV, was waiting outside when she heard gunshots, then watched as an injured and bloody Olson staggered to the vehicle, charges state.

Holland said she drove Olson to a house in South Salt Lake before fleeing the area, police have said.