District attorney to seek death penalty against triple homicide suspect

Published: Saturday, March 8 2014 5:32 p.m. MST

David Fresques, 25, attends a parole hearing at the Utah State Prison Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Friday that he will seek the death penalty if Fresques is convicted.

Joe DeLuca, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Friday he will seek the death penalty if a man charged in a triple homicide is convicted.

David Fresques, 25, was charged with three counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted aggravated murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Omar Jarman, 35, Shontay Young, 34, and Danielle Lucero, 26, inside a house at 8286 S. Adams St. in Midvale on Feb. 12. Vickie Myers was also shot but survived.

Fresques was bound over for trial last month following a three-day preliminary hearing. A four-week trial was scheduled to begin in March 2015.

Gill announced his intention to seek the death penalty Friday, marking the first time in the three years of his administration that he's made such a request.

"We felt this particular case, given the underlying factors and the aggravators that were present there, that it is both consistent with what we can and what we want for a very serious crime in our community," Gill said.

He said he reached the decision to seek the death penalty after a lot of thought and deliberation.

"(The death penalty) is a tool that my legislature has provided to me. It is a tool that you go to and reach in the cupboard under the appropriate circumstances. You do it with a lot of deliberation. This is not a decision anybody else gets to make. This is a decision I have to authorize. So I own that decision. It's a decision you go with in rare circumstances," he said. "It certainly indicates the serious concern about this particular crime which is very atypical from other types of crimes we see."

In November, Davis Romney Fotu, 33, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony. Prosecutors believe Fotu walked into the house with Fresques and then told him to take his vehicle after Fresques shot the four people.

Fotu was scheduled to be sentenced on March 28. Part of his plea deal, if the judge accepts it, would be to testify against Fresques during his trial next year.

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