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Young adult gets life sentence for iPod murder, but refuses to admit pulling trigger

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 30 2011 4:09 p.m. MDT

WEST JORDAN — A man charged with murder as a 17-year-old — reportedly over a dispute involving a stolen iPod — was sentenced to prison Tuesday.

Joshua Buie, now 19, was ordered to spend 15 years to life in prison for the July 2009 murder of Stephen Lasiloo, 21.

He pleaded guilty to murder, a first-degree felony, in May. But despite urging from the judge, Buie refused Tuesday to admit that he fired the fatal shots.

Buie and Lasiloo were both at a gathering at a home near 11300 South and 450 West on July 25. At some point that night, there was an argument involving multiple people, including Buie and Lasiloo, about a stolen iPod. After the argument, Lasiloo left on foot with his sister and cousin.

Shortly afterward, Buie left in a car with two other people, witnesses told police. The two people in the car said that as they approached Lasiloo and his group, Buie asked the driver to stop the car.

"Buie got out of the car and confronted Stephen Lasiloo; (Buie) pointed a revolver at (Lasiloo) and shot the gun three or four times," court documents state.

Two of the shots hit Lasiloo, who fell down with a gunshot wound to the chest. Though Buie was only 17 at the time, he was charged as an adult.

Prosecutor Tyson Hamilton said Lasiloo maybe made a poor decision attending the Pioneer Day gathering back in 2009, but made the right choice in leaving. He was half of a mile from his home when Buie confronted him.

"He essentially hunted (Lasiloo) down, shot and killed him," Hamilton said. 

A number of Lasiloo's family members addressed the judge Tuesday and said they never felt that Buie had any remorse.

"He's never once looked at us with a sad face," the man's uncle, William Frandsen said. "All he's done is brag about killing my nephew. ... I buried him with my own hands."

The 21-year-old "wasn't perfect," but was a loving father of two who was trying to do get his life in order, said Ken Frandsen, another uncle. He said he was glad Lasiloo was there that night, as he pushed his sister out of harm's way. Still, he wasn't happy with the sentence.

"Life in prison ... we're going to pay for it twice," Ken Frandsen said. "We paid with Stephen's life and for (Buie) to sit in prison. I hope, deep down, that he does learn something from this."

Defense attorney Denise Porter pointed out that Buie was one of three people in the car who followed Buie that night and said it was "offensive" the other two were never charged.

"We're not obligated to agree with the state's version of fault," she said. "(Buie) didn't plead guilty to the murder, he pleaded guilty to being a party to the offense."

Buie addressed Lasiloo's family, saying: "I would like to say that I know everybody is going through a lot of stuff ... I'm sorry for what happened. 

The judge asked Buie to shed light on who fired the gun, noting that many witnesses said he was the shooter.

"A lot of people indicated you pulled the trigger," 3rd District Judge Mark Kouris said. "If it's the truth, now would be the time to (admit it) and it would be the right thing to do."

Buie conferred with Porter and said: "I have no further comment."

"You're not going to tell me you're the one to pull the trigger?" the judge responded.

Buie again declined to comment. The judge then sentenced him, calling it a case with "two losers, no winners."

"I want the victim's family to know ... you've got some closure, some healing, but the reality is there still going to be a hole in your heart and for Mr. Buie's family, I feel terrible," Kouris said.

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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