Suspect in Bear River Rancheria Triple Homicide Arraigned Today in a Utah Courtroom

[Screenshot of a video of the court proceedings provided by Jesse Armstrong]

Mauricio Sanchez-Johnson, the suspect in the February 10 killing of three Bear River Rancheria residents, was arraigned in a Utah courtroom today. The judge assigned him a public defender.

Sanchez-Johnson appeared on webcam from the Tooele County Detention Center before District Court Judge Dianna Gibson. Judge Gibson asked Sanchez-Johnson whether he would like the charges to be read out loud to him. He simply said, “No, thank you.”

Judge Gibson assigned Sanchez-Johnson a public defender after it was determined he qualified due to not currently being employed. Sanchez-Johnson was appointed public defender Brad Schofield. Judge Gibson told Sanchez-Johnson he could contact Schofield via information the jail would provide.

Judge Gibson reminded Sanchez-Johnson, “You’re being held without bail because there is a no-bail warrant out of California.”

Sanchez-Lopez stands accused of the February 10 shooting and killing of three Bear River Rancheria residents, including his friend 16-year-old Shelly Mae Autumn Moon, Shelly’s mother Margarett Lee Moon, and Margarett’s 40-year-old fiance Nikki Dion Metcalf.

According to a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release, deputies responded to the scene and found two gunshot victims deceased. The third victim suffered severe injuries and was transported to a nearby hospital and later succumbed to her injuries. The press release states, “Officers also located two juveniles uninjured inside the residence. The juveniles were placed into safe custody.”

Sanchez-Johnson fled Humboldt County that night accompanied by 46-year-old Von Eric Keener. The pair were arrested in Utah on Interstate 80 after officers deployed spike strips to halt their pursuit. Currently, Sanchez-Johnson and Keener are incarcerated in the same detention center awaiting a decision on whether they will be extradited to Humboldt County.

Sanchez-Johnson’s next hearing will be held tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. MST.

Categories: Crime

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