OGDEN — Charged with obstruction of justice after a body was found buried in her yard, Sarah Munn is considering hiring one of the state’s best-known defense attorneys.
A status conference Tuesday in Ogden’s 2nd District Court for Munn, 31, was continued to Feb. 28. Her public defender, Martin Gravis, said Tuesday she is considering hiring prominent Salt Lake City lawyer Ron Yengich.
Yengich is already representing Munn on a Davis County charge of harboring an escapee. She was charged last September after telling police she had not seen Daniel Rivera, the father of her three children, since he walked away from a work crew while in the Weber County Jail in August. Police later learned Munn had been with Rivera on Aug. 23, 2011.
Police found a body on Feb. 10 in the yard of Munn’s home in Roy, later identified through DNA and dental records as Victor Flores, 25. He had moved to Layton from San Gabriel, Calif., and was reported missing by his family in May 2011.
Flores was stabbed to death, police said, and Daniel Rivera was one of those to have last seen Flores alive.
According to a probable cause affidavit for Munn’s obstruction charge, Rivera received a cut to his face that required 35 stitches the same day Flores disappeared.
Munn first told police Rivera had been hurt in a road-rage incident, then changed her statement, saying she caused the injury. She again changed her statement, leading to the obstruction of justice charge, but the court documents do not say what her third account involved.
Rivera rented a tractor to dig the hole — later filled in — that is believed to be where Flores’ remains were found, according to court records.
Rivera was arrested in September 2011 in Wyoming. He is now in Utah State Prison serving a sentence for escape. He had been in the Weber jail on charges unrelated to the Flores disappearance.
After Tuesday’s hearing before Judge Noel Hyde, Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said Layton and Roy police are conducting a joint investigation into Flores’ apparent homicide.
As for Rivera, Smith would only say he was an obvious suspect, because he dug the hole in Munn’s yard believed to be Flores’ final resting place.
He said they will decide whether to file the homicide in Davis or Weber after the investigation is complete.
Earlier Tuesday, Munn was scheduled to appear before Farmington 2nd District Judge John R. Morris on the charge of harboring an escapee. She was a candidate for Morris’ drug court, given her history of drug and alcohol charges, but she was found ineligible for the drug diversion program.
Munn, held in Weber County Jail on no bail, was not transported to Farmington for that hearing, said Deputy Davis County Attorney Richard Larsen.
Larsen would not say why Munn did not qualify for drug court, but did say the second-degree felony obstruction of justice charge “would make it difficult for her to complete the program.”
Another court hearing for the third-degree felony harboring charge is set for Feb. 29 before Judge David Hamilton.