The shooting occurred on Nov. 19 when the two men met up with the victim to speak about a drug dispute. A shot was fired that struck the victim in the back. Initially, police thought the man had died in a fatal car accident. The apparent accident scene seemed to stretch for several blocks because the victim tried to drive himself to a hospital.
The two men who were convicted in the man's death were both sentenced to two to 17 years for manslaughter and one to 15 years for obstruction of justice. One of the men was sentenced to an additional five years for felony use of a firearm. The other man was also sentenced to 1 to 15 years on a similar charge.
The judge ordered that the obstruction of justice and manslaughter sentences run concurrently. The firearm-related sentences, however, will run consecutive to the other charges.
The fact that the judge allowed these men to serve their sentences in this way ensures that they will have to spend less time in prison than if all the sentences were to run back-to-back. Understanding the charges and potential sentences in any criminal case can help a defendant determine what criminal defense approach would be most beneficial for them.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah men sent to prison for alleged drug-debt killing" Jessica Miller, Apr. 29, 2014