A co-defendant in the slaying of a West Valley City man at a downtown restaurant last year has pleaded guilty in connection
with the case.Grant David Stensrud, 21, 570 S. 900 East, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, a first-degree felony, for the death of Victor Aguilar, 37, who was stabbed on March 3, 1990, when he arrived to work early and surprised two burglars.
In return for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to drop charges of aggravated burglary and theft. Stensrud will be sentenced before 3rd District Judge Timothy Hanson on March 18.
In December, Thomas E. Trujillo, 23, pleaded guilty to capital murder for stabbing Aguilar. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. Hanson sentenced him to serve the rest of his life in the Utah State Prison.
Although Stensrud was not the actual stabber, prosecutors say he participated in the events that morning at Marie Callender Pies, 52 W. 200 South. Trujillo said he and Stensrud were burglarizing the restaurant and stealing the safe when Aguilar came to work early and surprised them. Trujillo said Aguilar grabbed Stensrud, so he grabbed a knife to protect him.
Aguilar, a father of four children, also grabbed the knife, but when he let go, Trujillo cut him in the throat, according to Trujillo.
Following the slaying, the two men put the safe on a hand truck and put it into Stensrud's father's vehicle. The safe contained $4,550 in cash and $1,300 in checks. Stensrud admitted where the money was after he realized detectives had obtained a warrant to search his house, police testified.