Maurcio Sanchez-Johnson, the 18-year-old suspect in the February 10 Bear River Rancheria triple homicide, appeared in a Tooele County, Utah courtroom this afternoon where he revealed that he would not sign the waiver to be extradited back to Humboldt County unless the special circumstances against him were dropped by the Humboldt County District Attorney.
The criminal complaint filed by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office accuses Sanchez-Johnson of special allegations stemming from personally and intentionally discharging a firearm causing death or great bodily injury and personally using a handgun. This connects to a special circumstance in the case resulting from having multiple victims that Sanchez-Johnson and his attorney want to be dropped.
The Utah Public Defender Brad Schofield told Judge Dianna Gibson he had not had the opportunity to speak with Sanchez-Johnson’s attorney, Andrea Sullivan, about the ultimatum and requested two weeks to provide time to speak with Sullivan about facilitating the extradition.
Sanchez-Johnson’s attorney Andrea Sullivan told us she reached out to the Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Flemming twice regarding the possibility of dropping the special circumstances. Currently, with the special circumstances applied, Sullivan said Sanchez-Johnson could face a capital case which could result in the death penalty or the possibility of life in prison without parole.
Sullivan told District Attorney Flemming in an email that “if she would like to get Mauricio, drop the special circumstances and makes this a non-capital case.” Sullivan told us she has yet to hear back from Flemming.
Judge Gibson scheduled the next hearing regarding Sanchez-Johnson’s extradition to March 16 3:30 p.m. MST.
Sanchez-Johnson is 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.
Sanchez-Johnson fled Humboldt County accompanied by Von Eric Keener and an unidentified woman. The group was arrested in Utah on Interstate 80 after officers deployed spike strips to halt their pursuit. Currently, Sanchez-Johnson is in a Utah detention center held without an opportunity for bail until he is extradited to Humboldt County.