A judge has denied a defense motion to release recently convicted murderer Danilo Delacruz Pascual from jail prior to sentencing in January.

Last Thursday, Pascual was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder in the June 25 shotgun slaying of Ogden resident Todd Patrick Salazar.Before trial, Pascual had been free on bail but was taken into custody after the verdict was returned Thursday night.

Defense attorney Robert V. Phillips asked 2nd District Judge Stanton M. Taylor that bail remain in effect and that Pascual be free until his Jan. 3 sentencing.

Phillips argued Monday that Pascual was not a risk to leave the area because his girlfriend of eight years and his young son are in Ogden. The attorney further argued that Pascual was not a threat to the community.

Pascual also spoke at the proceedings.

"I know it's an accidental death," he said. "I believe it's an accident."

Testimony in the three-day trial last week indicated a fight was about to begin between Pascual and three of his friends against several other people gathered in a field across the street from Salazar's home.

The fight spilled over to Salazar's front yard where he was confronted by three people, including Pascual, who was carrying a loaded .410-gauge shotgun.

The defense claimed Pascual was using the gun as a club when it accidentally went off, shooting Salazar in the back.

The prosecution charged that Pascual aimed the gun at Salazar as he was fleeing and shot him in the back.