OGDEN — A jury found a former Ogden man guilty this month of abducting a man at gunpoint and keeping him in his home overnight.
Emanuel Carranza, 31, was found guilty on single counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, felony discharge of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person — all first-degree felonies — as well as failing to stop at the command of police, a third-degree felony. Carranza was found not guilty of aggravated assault, a first-degree felony.
Carranza was arrested in early February 2018 after an odd series of crimes that began in Ogden.
On Feb. 1, 2018, Carranza allegedly entered a Gen X Clothing store armed with a pistol and robbed the store. During the course of the robbery, Carranza allegedly fired one shot, but no one was struck.
That same day, police said that Carranza pulled a pistol on a man in an Ogden park after a brief exchange, according to charging documents. Carranza then took the man at gunpoint and forced the man into his car, later cutting the nylon straps of the man’s backpack in the effort to tie the man’s hands and feet.
Carranza then drove to his home where he kept the victim overnight. He was “forced to perform various chores around the house,” according to charging documents.
The following day, Carranza took the victim out of the home, and the man later witnessed Carranza “fire several rounds in a drive-by shooting at rival gang members” in Ogden.
Later that day, Carranza drove the man to Walmart and told him to buy 9 mm Luger ammunition, and if he did so, he would be set free. While inside, the man told employees he was kidnapped, and police were called. Carranza reportedly fled the parking lot and got on to Interstate 15. He was later arrested in Clinton when he crashed into a police car.
Carranza was charged in state court for the kidnapping ordeal, but he was charged federally for the robbery. Because he had violated his parole, Carranza was taken to the Utah State Prison after his arrest.
In February 2019, federal prosecutors dropped the robbery charge against Carranza. The charges were officially dropped on Feb. 21, as prosecutors said in a motion that “an essential to the prosecution passed away.” The dismissal motion did not state what were the circumstances of the witness’ death.
However, the kidnapping case moved forward, and Carranza went to trial starting on Feb. 10 of this year. Days later, on Feb. 13, the jury came back with guilty verdicts on all but one charge.
Since his 2018 arrest, Carranza had multiple charges filed against him in several cases.
In early 2019, he was charged and later pleaded guilty to one count of assault by prisoner, a third-degree felony, in Ogden’s 2nd District Court. Charging documents say that while Carranza was at the Weber County Jail in August 2018, Carranza head-butted another inmate and caused a gash and serious bleeding. He was sentenced to a term of zero to five years in prison, which was ordered to be served concurrently with the additional prison time that came with his parole violation.
Carranza has been charged in two separate cases while he has been in custody of the state prison. In May, security footage from the prison allegedly showed Carranza enter another man’s cell, with two people standing outside of the cell door.
After what appeared to be an attack, Carranza allegedly shook the hand of one of the men outside the cell door. Minutes later, the area goes into a lockdown. The man inside the cell was later taken via ambulance to a local hospital to be treated for “slash wounds and puncture wounds he received,” according to charging documents.
Carranza was charged a month later with single counts of aggravated assault by a prisoner and possession or use of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, both first-degree felonies. He pleaded not guilty to both counts in August.
In December, Carranza was charged with third-degree felony riot after a fight broke out between nine people at the prison in November. Carranza was one of a handful of people who was injured during the fight, according to charging documents. He has yet to enter a plea in the case.
Carranza remains in the custody of the Utah State Prison. His next court appearance in Ogden will be for his sentencing, which is scheduled to take place on March 25.