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Ex-girlfriend testifies Puente was at fatal shooting scene

By Mark Shenefelt - | Dec 2, 2021

BEN DORGER, Standard-Examiner file photo

The 2nd District Court is seen on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, in downtown Ogden.

OGDEN — A former girlfriend of murder suspect Keshaun Puente testified Thursday that she drove Puente away from an Ogden apartment complex parking lot where a man was shot dead on June 13, 2018.

Puente, 24, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Denero Snider, 23. Puente’s attorneys contend the shooter was not Puente. Several tree-trimming workers who were nearby testified Tuesday in the trial that they saw the shooting, but none could identify Puente in a police photo lineup.

But the former girlfriend, who was 17 at the time, said she was at the complex to pick up Puente and saw that he was talking to Snider. She said she heard shots and ducked, then Puente got into the car with her.

Under questioning by Weber County prosecutor Branden Miles, the woman said she did not see who fired the shots and did not see anyone get shot. She said they drove out of the parking lot and another car followed them.

“We tried to lose it,” she said.

In cross-examination by defense attorney Grant Morrison, the woman said Puente was not agitated when he got in the car and that she never saw a gun.

A police detective testified earlier Thursday that homicide investigators found evidence connecting Puente to the car that left the scene.

Larry Lewis, who was the Ogden Police Department’s lead investigator of the shooting, testified that they obtained video from a Riverdale auto service business that showed Puente, his girlfriend and a silver Hyundai Veloster with its front bumper missing about 30 minutes before the Ogden shooting.

Witnesses had described the Hyundai without a bumper, and the driver and passenger at the shooting scene were described as Black. Puente and the woman are Black.

Lewis said Nevada police found the Veloster a few weeks later and Ogden officers drove to Nevada and brought the car back to Weber County crime scene investigators. In the car, he said, investigators found the Riverdale auto service receipt and Puente’s birth certificate and debit card.

Police found Puente in November 2018 and he was arrested and extradited to Ogden.

Under questioning by Morrison, Lewis acknowledged that a lengthy police interview with Puente’s girlfriend occurred despite the teenager not wanting to talk about the case.

Morrison also asked Lewis about the results of eight search warrants executed in Puente’s case.

“Did you come up with the gun?” Morrison asked. No, Lewis said. The detective also answered no to Morrison’s questions about whether police had any DNA evidence linking Puente to the shooting.

Morrison also asked why police focused on Puente and how there were no other suspects. “Everyone described the shooter and we were following the facts and the evidence we had,” Lewis said.

The trial continues Friday.


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