SALT LAKE CITY — Police say a man accused of fatally stabbing a teenager on a downtown Salt Lake street had only been in Utah for a week seeking employment.
But thanks to surveillance video in the area, Salt Lake police homicide detectives were able to arrest Enrique Deloza, 28, for investigation of murder. By Wednesday afternoon, police announced they had arrested a second person, Nicolas Nazario Espana, 28, of Salt Lake City, also for investigation of homicide.
On Monday, Marcelino "Marci" Johnson, 16, was fatally stabbed near 71 E. Kensington Ave. (1530 South). Marcelino was walking with three teens, two girls and a boy, about 1 a.m. on 1300 South when an argument started with two men, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.
The verbal altercation escalated by the time the two groups reached Kensington Avenue, according to police.
"The argument turned physical and the victim was stabbed and eventually succumbed to his injuries," the report states.
Friends of Marcelino say he was trying to defend the girls. The girls ran into nearby Piper Down Pub to seek help after the stabbing. Employees quickly ran outside to assist. Marcelino later died while in surgery at a local hospital.
Detectives checked surveillance cameras of the nearby businesses and discovered that part of the fight had been recorded.
"Based upon surveillance video of the homicide, Deloza and the 16-year-old victim were off camera, presumably in a physical altercation, while the second suspect and his dog were observed in a physical altercation with a male that was with the victim. Deloza was the only person in the vicinity of the victim when he was killed," the report states.
Cameras also recorded Deloza "fleeing the scene of the homicide with another individual and his dog. The two suspects and the dog are observed on surveillance video arriving at a nearby motel shortly after the homicide," according to the report.
The video then records the two men and the dog getting into a taxi, according to police.
Deloza, who police say has ties to Nevada and California and only arrived in Utah over the past week to find a job, was staying at 1099 S. West Temple.
On Tuesday, police found Deloza near 1050 S. Main. He appeared "to have injuries to his face consistent with a recent physical altercation," police said.
Investigators also noted in the report that "two witnesses to this incident identified Deloza as one of the parties involved in this homicide," the report says. However, Salt Lake police declined to expand on that statement Wednesday or explain who the witnesses were or how they might have known Deloza.
Deloza has no prior criminal history in Utah, according to court records.
Just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, police announced Espana, the man believed to have been with Deloza at the time of the stabbing, had also been arrested or investigation of murder.
According to a probable cause statement, Espana was captured on video along with Deloza "fleeing the scene." Detectives later found that Espana gave Deloza a knife "just prior to the homicide," the statement says.5 comments on this story
Espana also "disposed of evidence directly related" to the investigation, police said.
Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer said Espana has a criminal records in both Utah and Nevada. He did not immediately know how he and Deloza were acquainted.
According to Utah court records, Espana was charged with shoplifting in May in Salt Lake Justice Court, and a warrant was issued for his arrest in June when he failed to show up for a court appearance. In March, he was charged with trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records.