OGDEN — Eric Johnson was in the living room, bleeding from gunshot wounds when he heard two shots ring out from his brother Kamron’s bedroom.
He told an Ogden courtroom Monday that he had already been shot twice when a robber walked into the bedroom and shot the Ben Lomond High School senior, who was home sick and not in class.
“Where’s the money? Where’s it at?” the robbers yelled at Eric Johnson, who was pressing a pillow against his chest in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
On Monday, the two men charged with raiding the home and shooting both Eric and Kamron Johnson in February were shackled and dressed in orange.
The two men — Theron Nelson Farmer, a 23-year-old Ogden resident, and Daniel Ross Viegas-Gonzalez, a 28-year-old Farmington man — pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder charges in connection with the February death of the Ogden teen.
Both Farmer and Viegas-Gonzalez pleaded not guilty to all charges following a presentation of evidence as part of a preliminary hearing in the case.
They are both charged with single counts of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, all first-degree felonies; and one count each of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. Viegas-Gonzalez is also charged with possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.
A number of people took to the witness stand during the Monday hearing.
Eric Johnson was the first to testify, as he shared the details leading up to the shooting. He said that he was in his home on the 800 block of West Lake Street in west Ogden when Farmer called Kamron Johnson’s phone after he tried to call Eric Johnson. Once on the phone, Farmer said he wanted to buy some pills, and Eric Johnson said to come over. Less than five minutes later, there was a knock at the door.
“They came really quick, I didn’t even have time to get dressed,” Eric Johnson said.
Farmer walked in with another man that Eric Johnson hadn’t met before. The man was introduced to him as “Danny” he said, whom he said Monday was Viegas-Gonzalez. After a few minutes of sitting and talking, Eric Johnson said Danny was about five feet away when he shot him.
“I stood up and he started shooting at me,” he said.
Eric Johnson fell to the floor after being shot twice, once in the chest and another in his arm. He testified that Viegas-Gonzalez then went to Kamron Johnson’s room. Eric Johnson said he heard two shots before Viegas-Gonzalez joined Farmer in raiding Eric Johnson’s room for money, pills and clothes.
Eric Johnson said that Viegas-Gonzalez threatened him and asked where the money was before he shot Eric Johnson again, this time in the leg. The two began pulling out drawers, going through pill bottles and taking clothes. Eric Johnson said the two stole cash, pills, his wallet and clothes from his room.
“Anything worth money was gone,” he said.
While the two were going through his room, Eric Johnson pulled out his phone and called 911, then left his phone underneath a coffee table so a dispatcher could hear what was going on in the house. An audio recording of the call was played in court, and Eric Johnson can be heard crying out in pain after being shot several times.
“You really have to shoot me, though?” he says in the recording.
The brief call ends when Viegas-Gonzalez reportedly found the phone and ended the call. Viegas-Gonzalez and Farmer took Eric and Kamron Johnson’s phones before they left, and allegedly tossed the phones out of a car as it drove over the 24th Street viaduct in Ogden.
Eric Johnson laid on the living room floor for over two hours before his father came home and found the two. Before medics arrived, Eric Johnson said that he had a pillow pressed to his chest to keep pressure on his wounds.
He tried to move, but he was bleeding too much. He tried to talk, but couldn’t, as his lungs began filling with blood. Eric Johnson was in the hospital for two weeks following the shooting, but he lived to tell the tale.
Another who testified Monday was Deputy Jacob Wilson of the Weber County Sheriff’s Office. At the time of the shooting, Wilson was a homicide detective with the Ogden Police Department.
Wilson attended Kamron’s autopsy where a medical examiner found that the teen was shot twice: once in the head and another in the chest.
“She determined that either injury could have ended his life,” Wilson said.
He continued, and spoke about his interviews with both Farmer and Viegas-Gonzalez after their arrests. Both were uncooperative at first, giving phony stories of where they were, before allegedly admitting to being in the home when the shooting took place.
According to Farmer, Viegas-Gonzalez allegedly shot Eric Johnson then Kamron Johnson before stealing the money and pills. Viegas-Gonzalez, on the other hand, said that Farmer fatally shot Kamron Johnson, while he only shot Eric Johnson.
Farmer allegedly told police that after seeing Eric Johnson get shot, he was acting out of fear that Viegas-Gonzalez would shoot him, too, if he did not go along with robbing the home, according to Wilson.
Steve Zaccardi, an investigator with the Weber County Attorney’s Office, testified in regards to a woman who knew both Farmer and Viegas-Gonzalez. During an interview, the woman reportedly told Zaccardi that prior to the shooting she heard the two talk about how robbing people would make more money than their day jobs.
Zaccardi said that just hours after the shooting, Farmer and two others arrived at the woman’s apartment. She told Zaccardi that Farmer walked in and said, “how do you like my new coat?” One of the items allegedly taken from Eric Johnson’s room was a winter jacket. She also received a large bag of Xanax pills from Farmer, and she told Zaccardi that she was “taken back” by the number of pills he handed to her.
Farmer was later apprehended by a Davis County SWAT team.
After hearing the evidence, Judge Reuben Renstrom took a brief respite before concluding there was sufficient evidence to bind over the charges against Farmer and Viegas-Gonzalez. Both declined to testify during the Monday preliminary hearing.
Both entered not guilty pleas to all charges, and the two will remain in the Weber County Jail without bail as their case moves forward.
Prosecutors now have 60 days to determine whether or not they will pursue the death penalty against either Farmer or Viegas-Gonzalez, as both are charged with aggravated murder, the only crime in Utah that carries a potential for capital punishment.
The next court appearances for the two is scheduled to be for a disposition hearing on Dec. 31 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court.