PROVO — An Orem man accused of arranging an assault on an alleged informant that turned deadly was sentenced to prison Tuesday.
Yuri Sanchez Lara, 33, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and four counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a drug-free zone, a first-degree felony, in connection with the death of Andy Purcell, 32.
The plea was entered as part of an agreement and Lara was immediately sentenced to one to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and five years to life in prison on each of the possession charges, court records show.
Fourth District Judge Steven Hansen ordered all of the sentences to run concurrent.
The two men Lara allegedly hired to beat Purcell — Darrell Wayne Morris, 39, and Danny Leroy Logue, 46 — entered not guilty pleas before the judge.
Purcell was found with a gunshot wound to the head on the front porch of his home at 541 S. 300 East in Provo on May 16. Purcell died at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center the next day.
Purcell's family said Lara and Purcell had previously dealt drugs together and were in a dispute over payment for a vehicle Purcell sold to Lara, according to prosecutors. Lara also apparently believed Purcell had provided information about him to Orem police. Charges indicate that Lara contacted Morris and ordered an assault on Purcell. In return, Lara would pay Morris with 1 ounce of methamphetamine — half an ounce to be paid before the assault and the other half to be paid after, the charges state.Comment on this story
In a meeting with a confidential informant, Lara admitted that "he paid Morris in full for the contract on Purcell" and indicated that there was "a second contract for another person that was also paid in full," the charges state. Police said Logue was with Morris at the time of the shooting and that the gun used in the shooting was Logue's.
The drug charges against Lara were filed when he was found with various drugs near Provo High School.
Logue and Morris are facing charges of capital murder in addition to drug, weapons and obstruction charges.