Duo in fatal Orem shooting plead guilty

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26 2014 12:30 p.m. MST

Travis Waldron, 24, of Orem, pleaded guilty Tuesday to manslaughter and other charges in the Nov. 19, 2013, shooting death of Rupert E. Miley, 42.

Orem police

AMERICAN FORK — Two Orem men accused of shooting and killing a third man during an apparent dispute over a drug debt both struck plea deals Tuesday.

Mason French and Travis Waldron, both 24, pleaded guilty to amended charges of manslaughter, possession of a firearm and obstructing justice, all second-degree felonies. Both were originally charged with murder, a first-degree felony.

On Nov. 19, French and Waldron — whom prosecutors described as drunk and angry that night — confronted Rupert E. Miley, 42, over a drug debt. The three got into Miley's car, and, while driving, Miley was shot from the back seat where French was sitting. French later told investigators the gun went off accidentally.

The car crashed near 800 North and 100 East in Orem a short time later.

Tuesday, the men waived their preliminary hearings and agreed to the plea deal. They are scheduled to be sentenced on April 21.

All three men involved in the incident have a history of drug-related arrests and charges, according to court documents.

— Pat Reavy

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