1 of 2
Salt Lake County Jail
Vladimir Suarez-Campos, 37, is being held on investigation of aggravated murder in connection with the March 14, 2012, death of Steven Guadalupe Chavez at CJ Smoke Shop in Salt Lake City. Suarez-Campos has yet to be charged.

SALT LAKE CITY — A man arrested in the March 14 killing of the son of a Salt Lake smoke shop owner was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, which potentially carries the death penalty.

Yelfris Sosa-Hurtado, 25, of Salt Lake City, is accused in the shooting death Steven Guadalupe Chavez, 26, inside CJ's Smoke Shop at 876 W. 800 South, after a confrontation over loitering around the store.

According to charging documents, shop owner Isabel Chavez asked several people outside his shop to leave. Sosa-Hurtado became upset and asked him, "What are you going to do?" 

Steven Chavez then confronted Sosa-Hurtado about disrespecting his father. After the confrontation, Sosa-Hurtado left in his vehicle and returned about 20 minutes later, entering the store carrying a rifle, saying he was going to kill Steven Chavez, court documents state.

Sosa-Hurtado fired a shot that hit Steven Chavez in the hand, and Chavez took cover by diving behind the counter, documents state. Sosa-Hurtado then leaned over the counter and shot Chavez twice in the torso.

Sosa-Hurtado left the shop, fired nine more shots in the air, got into the passenger side of a dark blue Honda Civic and fled the area, according to the charges.

A crime scene investigator collected three spent 5.45 x 39 caliber shell casings from inside the shop and nine more from the store's parking lot, documents state. Investigators found the same type of shell casing in a garbage can at Sosa-Hurtado's residence.

Sosa-Hurtado was arrested March 19 along with Vladimir Suarez-Campos, 37, who police believe was the driver of the Honda Civic that was recorded on a nearby business surveillance camera.

Sosa-Hurtado is also charged with nine counts of felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony.

Charges have yet to be filed against Suarez-Campos. Sosa-Hurtado is being held in the Salt Lake County jail on $1.5 million bail. Suarez-Campos is being held on $1 million bail. According to booking information, Sosa-Hurtado is a U.S. citizen born in Cuba, and Suarez-Campos is a Cuban national, being held on investigation of aggravated murder and for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

E-mail: [email protected]