2 Ogden teens accused of killing woman will go to trial, judge rules

Tuesday , March 27, 2018 - 6:58 PM2 comments

OGDEN — Charges against two Ogden teens accused of killing a woman in 2017 will move forward to a trial, a 2nd District Court judge ruled Tuesday.

Daniel G. Garcia, 16, and Trevon Jordan Zamora, 17, sat in court on March 27 with friends and family seated behind them as investigators testified regarding arrests, interviews and evidence surrounding the case.

Although they are juveniles, both are being charged as adults in district court. It is the Standard-Examiner’s policy not to name juvenile suspects unless they are charged in adult court.

Judge Jennifer Valencia ruled there was sufficient evidence to pursue all four charges against Zamora and all three charges against Garcia.

Garcia is charged with murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony. Zamora is charged with the same three counts, in addition to the use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class B misdemeanor.

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The two are charged in connection with the shooting death of 47-year-old Maria Sanchez, who died Aug. 14, 2017 — a day after she was shot in the head while asleep in her Ogden home. 

Garcia is out on bail but is required to have an ankle GPS monitor. Zamora is in police custody and is being held without bail in a local juvenile facility.

RELATED: Teen charged in Maria Sanchez shooting death granted bail

Tuesday’s hearing began with prosecutor Teral Tree playing a 911 call placed by one of Sanchez’s daughters.

“We need an ambulance, please,” the caller said to a dispatcher. “I see her bleeding.”

The dispatcher asked the caller if her mother was breathing, to which she responded, “I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”

Ogden Police Sgt. Michael Flynn, one of the first officers at the scene, testified first. Flynn said he found Sanchez with a gunshot wound to her head and discovered she was still breathing.

RELATED: 2 Ogden teens charged with murder as adults in connection with fatal shooting

Dr. Zachary Michalicek, an assistant medical examiner for the state, performed the autopsy on Sanchez and said the woman died from a gunshot wound to the top of her head. Judging from the gunshot wound, Michalicek said the manner of death was homicide.

Ogden Police Detective Reed Mackley told the court about his interviews with both defendants.

Mackley said Garcia told him in an interview that he, Zamora and another boy “went looking for trouble,” then “lit up the house.” Garcia said the group decided to shoot at the house because of an argument with someone they believed to live in the home, Mackley told the court.

Former OPD Detective Travis Gerfen told the court that investigators found a shotgun and bullet casings in Zamora’s house while searching the home. 

When police searched Zamora’s phone, they found messages sent shortly after the shooting. Zamora says in the group chat that he “did that s—-” in regards to the shooting. Police also found that Zamora deleted call records and messages from his phone after the shooting.

In his interview, Zamora told investigators that he was acting as a lookout during the shooting. 

The next court hearing is a status conference tentatively scheduled for April 18 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court, during which Zamora’s bail status will be discussed. 

Trial dates for the case were not set during Tuesday’s hearing. 

Contact reporter Jacob Scholl at jscholl@standard.net or follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Scholl.

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