MAGNA — Police are asking for the public's help in finding a man wanted for murder.
Gino James Cecala, 46, of Salt Lake City, was charged July 28 with murder, a first-degree felony, in the July 16 shooting death of Paige Espinoza in Magna. A $1 million warrant has been issued for Cecala's arrest.
The case was originally filed under seal but was unsealed in August.
Espinoza, 25, of Murray, was shot and killed inside a basement bedroom at 8360 W. Mix Ave. about 5:15 a.m. that day. Espinoza was visiting a resident of the home. She was shot in the head and the leg, according to charging documents.
Police found 15 casings from a 9mm gun outside the bedroom window. Espinoza's boyfriend, who was also in the house, told police he had been "having problems" with Cecala and had gotten into a fight with him a week earlier. Cecala then made "multiple threats" to kill both Espinoza and the boyfriend, the charges state.
Detectives were able to track down the man who allegedly drove Cecala to the Magna house. Todd Elwin Hull, 46, of Sandy, told police that Cecala walked up to the window and fired multiple rounds, the charges state. Cecala then allegedly buried the gun in an empty lot on the west side of Salt Lake County.
Hull is charged with two counts of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.
Police went to look for the gun. But when they arrived at the lot, they learned that three people, including Cecala, had been there the night before with a shovel and retrieved the weapon, according to charging documents.
On Monday, the Unified Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Office asked the public for help locating Cecala. Anyone with information is asked to call 385-468-9817.
In addition to murder, Cecala is also charged with discharge of a firearm, a first-degree felony; 13 counts of discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and possession of a weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony.Comment on this story
Cecala's criminal history dates back to 1990 when he was charged with attempted murder and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, according to court records.
In 2004 and 2006, Cecela faced federal charges including stolen mail and a federal gun charge, court records state.
In 2012, Cecala was indicted by a federal grand jury on several charges including meth possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, according to court records. As recently as April he was sentenced to six months in federal custody for violating terms of his release.