A Salt Lake County youth accused of murdering the son of a movie actress was released from jail Monday night after friends and relatives put up more than $200,000 worth of their property.
Six couples pledged their homes or home equity to ensure that John Tavo Leota will appear in court on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.Leota, 18, is accused of killing Malik Smith, 18, the evening of March 18 at Studio 35, a West Valley disco at 1959 W. 35th South. Smith, Los Angeles, was the son of actress Beverly Todd and producer Kris Kaiser.
The charges allege Leota struck Smith with his fist with sufficient force to "knock him approximately six feet." Smith fell to the floor, striking his head. He died two days later.
Leota, who faces a preliminary hearing Wednesday in 3rd Circuit Court, is also accused of causing another disco patron to suffer a concussion.