SALT LAKE CITY — Three people — including a 16-year-old boy — who allegedly wanted to steal marijuana from a house they thought would be empty, were charged Thursday with murder.
Colton James Beed, 20, of West Valley City; Chase Anthony Chavira, 20; and Nathan Jesus Amaton, 16, of South Salt Lake; are each charged in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony.
The three are accused of participating in a home invasion robbery that turned violent and resulted in the death of Mason Hunt, 26, of Salt Lake City, who was shot and killed after confronting the group, police say.
Amaton was charged as an adult.
On Jan. 12, a woman who lives at 359 N. Star Crest Drive (1840 West) heard a "loud bang" and someone pounding on a side door, according to charging documents. She looked out a window and saw two men, one wearing a red ski mask.
The woman ran into her bathroom, locked the door, and hid in the bathtub. She attempted to call 911, but her call "would not connect," the charges state. The woman then called Hunt, who also lived in the house but was not home.
The group initially took some items and started to drive away. But they then decided to go back and take more items, according to investigators.
As the group was taking the woman's car out of the driveway, Hunt arrived at the house and confronted the intruders. Hunt put one of them in a headlock. That's when someone hit Hunt with the butt end of a rifle, "then put the rifle to the male's chest and shot him once," the charges state.
Shortly after, Hunt stumbled into the house and collapsed on the kitchen floor, police say.
The woman told officers that another housemate, who wasn't home at the time, sold marijuana out of the residence, the charges say. Police said they recovered "several large containers of marijuana" from that person's room.
A person who had "planned to hang out" with Chavira and Beed later that night told police that when they all met up, the two men said that they "had hit a house looking for a sheet of acid and some weed" and that "someone was home and a guy was shot in the chest with a .22," according to charging documents.
After his arrest, Beed told investigators that it was Amaton's idea to rob the house, claiming that he thought the residents would be out of town, the charges state. Detectives later searched Amaton's home and reported finding a .22 rifle under the mattress and a stolen .357 handgun in a box.1 comment on this story
The charges do not say which man pulled the trigger that killed Hunt. Salt Lake police on Thursday confirmed that detectives were still looking for additional suspects, but declined to say how many or give any additional information because the investigation is ongoing.
The addition to the murder charge, the three are also each charged with two counts of aggravated burglary and two counts of aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies. Beed and Amaton also face a charge of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. Amaton has an additional charge of theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony.
Bail for all three was set at $1 million.