A Loleta man accused of murdering three people on the Bear River Rancheria was arraigned this morning in Tooelle, Utah, where he has been in jail since being arrested while driving east on Interstate 80.
Today was the first court hearing for 18-year-old Mauricio Eduardo Sanchez-Johnson, who appeared before Third District Court Judge Dianna Gibson. When the judge asked whether he had received a copy of the charges against him, Sanchez-Johnson responded “Yeah.”
“Would you like me to read the charges?”
“No, thank you.”
Because Sanchez-Johnson said he is unemployed, Gibson appointed a public defender to represent him and told him to call the attorney. His next hearing is tomorrow afternoon.
On Feb. 10 Sanchez-Johnson allegedly shot three people to death in a home on the rancheria: his friend 16-year-old Shelly Mae Autumn Moon, her mother Margarett Lee Moon, 40, and her mother’s fiance Nikki Dion Metcalf, also 40.
Sanchez-Johnson was arrested the following day near Tooele after officers used spike strips to stop his car on I-80. His passenger was 46-year-old Von Eric Keener, who is the boyfriend of Sanchez-Johnson’s mother. Keener is in the same detention center as Sanchez-Johnson.
This morning Sanchez-Johnson wore an orange and white striped uniform. His face was covered by a mask.