Two teenagers have been charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 14 shooting death of a 31-year-old Utah man after an argument on Facebook escalated.
Alekzander Ethan May, 18, Midvale, and Edgar Omar Esquivel, 19, West Jordan, were each charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony. May was also charged with aggravated assault and Esquivel with criminal solicitation, third-degree felonies.
The incident began when a woman received a friend request on Facebook from “Jokie Dinero,” who was later identified as Esquivel, according to Unified Police. The woman told police that in the online conversation, Esquivel “threatened to rape, drown and kill her infant son and to kill her.” A 17-year-old boy joined the argument, and agreed to meet with Esquivel in front of apartments at 2990 South 700 West “to fight.”
The 17-year-old and Taylor Kauvaka, 31, went to the address and saw two men — later identified as Esquivel and May, according to police — and walked toward them. According to the 17-year-old, he “heard a shotgun rack and saw that May was holding a shotgun.” He stopped, but Kauvaka continued to walk forward. The 17-year-old heard the gun go off and saw Kauvaka fall to the ground with a gunshot wound to his chest.
According to a police statement, Kauvaka “placed himself in front of ... witnesses and slapped the gun, which was being pointed in his direction.” May then "fired a single shot, resulting in Taylor’s death.”
Kauvaka died at the scene.
A woman who witnessed the shooting told police that May then pointed the gun at her and said, “Stay back, bitch, or you're next!”
According to a probable cause statement, May later approached a Murray Police officer “and stated that he had shot someone.” May then led officers to the shotgun and shotgun shells.
According to police, while being held in an interview room at the police station “Esquivel was overheard by detectives telling his mother to delete his Facebook messages and his Facebook account.”
May and Esquivel are both being held without bail in the Salt Lake County jail.