OGDEN -- The man charged with killing a California man, then burying his body in a Roy backyard has pleaded guilty.
Family members of both the victim and Daniel Rivera, who is charged with manslaughter and desecration of a human body, filled the courtroom Wednesday afternoon.
Rivera, 34, entered a guilty plea to both charges, admitting to 2nd District Court Judge Ernie Jones that he stabbed Victor Flores, 25, then buried his body in the backyard of a home belonging to his girlfriend, Sarah Munn.
Jones said Rivera's charges could add up to 20 years in prison. A sentencing hearing is set for Nov. 6 in 2nd District Court in Ogden.
Rivera's attorney, Camille Neider, said in court that it was in the defendant's best interest to submit the guilty plea.
Flores' family members, some of whom traveled from Los Angeles, were allowed to speak to the court about the pain caused upon hearing of Victor Flores' death.
"He was like my best friend," said Victor's brother, Hugo Flores. "He left a daughter who he'll never be able to take to school."
With tears in her eyes, Victor's mother, Lena Flores, spoke through a Spanish-speaking translator.
"What (Rivera) had done has destroyed our family," she said. "I'm here asking for justice for my son."
Flores' body was unearthed by authorities Feb, 10, 2012, about nine months after it was buried. Flores was a California resident who had moved to Utah and was reported missing by his family in May 2011.
Police have said Flores was last seen with Rivera on May 9, 2011 -- which is the exact date of his death listed on the manslaughter charge filed against Rivera in 2nd District Court.
Rivera rented a tractor that was used to dig a hole in the backyard of Munn's home on May 10, 2011, according to charging documents. May 10 is the date listed in the charge against Rivera alleging desecration of a corpse. The charge includes wording alleging hiding a body.
That month, Munn was charged with obstruction of justice for changing stories in an attempt to cover for an injury to Rivera's face.
Munn initially told investigators that Rivera had been hurt in a road-rage incident, then later said she caused the injury, only to recant again and provide a third unspecified version, according to charging documents.
Munn also told police she was present when the hole was dug for the purpose of placing a trampoline at ground level, court files state. She said the hole was later filled in because it had been dug the wrong size, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Rivera was already in prison, serving up to five years for escape from official custody. Rivera skipped out on a Weber County Jail work release program in August 2011 and was arrested in Wyoming last year, then sent to prison.
Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227, email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.