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SALT LAKE CITY -- It's been more than a year since Krystal Flores was shot at a house party, dying after a few weeks spent in a coma.
Three have been charged in connection with her death and Shannon Moala -- who has been charged with obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, for lying to police about the case -- still doesn't know who is responsible.
"This whole time I just felt that whoever did it, and I don't know who killed Krystal Flores, but whoever did it should own up to what they did," she testified in a preliminary hearing Tuesday.
Prosecutors put on evidence over the course of two days to support their contention that the killers were Moala's ex-boyfriend, 30-year-old Alexander Bloomfield, and 21-year-old Pailate Lomu, who have both been charged with murder and aggravated burglary, first-degree felonies. Twenty-year-old George Angilau has also been charged with murder and aggravated burglary, in addition to other various, gun-related charges.
Prosecutors say the shooting stemmed from an issue between two Tongan gangs and, by all accounts, the 22-year-old Flores was an innocent bystander who was simply attending a house party at 1309 S. Stewart Street on July 19, 2009, when she was shot.
That night, Moala testified Lomu, Angilau and Nick Fonau left a party with a gun. She left in her car with Bloomfield and was asleep in her vehicle when she awoke to the sound of gunshots. She said Bloomfield was there in the car when she woke up and that the pair picked up Fonau, who had blood on his arms and clothing, and left the scene.
She said she could tell by her surroundings they were in Glendale and later that night she was informed that the member of a rival gang was shot and wounded in the area, but didn't know about Flores until police came to talk to her.
"When they questioned me, I found out what really happened; that somebody had gone into a house, kicked down the door and killed an innocent girl sleeping on the couch," Moala said, crying. "I couldn't get it out of my head, the pictures of her, everything they were saying to me."
She said that she tried to ask Bloomfield who was responsible, but he wouldn't say, only stating that nobody meant to kill Flores. Little by little, their relationship deteriorated.
"I had so much anger and hatred for him," Moala said. "I gave up everything for (him). He told me he was done with gang life and I thought we were just going to have this happy, little normal life that we had talked about. He went back to gangbanging right away."
She said in court that tensions had been high between the gang Bloomfield belonged to -- the West Valley City-based Baby Regulators -- and a rival predominantly Tongan gang based out of Glendale, the Tongan Crips, since a "brawl" broke out at West Fest earlier in the summer. When Lomu, who is also believed to be a Baby Regulator, had his house targeted in a drive-by shooting soon after, things got worse.
"They were plotting," she said of Bloomfield and others who met up after the shooting. "Just angry, angry people." The night of July 19, many of those same individuals attended a house party, where they drank hour after hour. Eventually she saw "that crazy look" in Bloomfield's eyes and tried to get him to return with her to the home the couple shared.
"I kept telling him 'Let's just go home,'" she said. "He wouldn't go."
But even after the shooting incident, she thought Bloomfield hadn't been directly involved. Later, someone told her he had been identified by a witness in the home Flores was killed in.
"I asked him, 'Why did you guys do that? An innocent girl died. She was a mother, she was just sleeping on the couch. How could you guys do that?'"
Juan Rodriguez and his then-14-year-old younger sister were living in the home on Stewart Street at the time and had hosted the party that evening. Rodriguez's sister testified that she and Krystal had fallen asleep on a couch in the living room, which is accessible from the front door. She said she woke up as soon as someone entered the home.
Both testified that two men with guns entered the home. The girl said she ran to get her older brother from a bedroom where he was resting. Juan Rodriguez testified that he ran to the living room and saw two gunmen, whom he told to be careful, as there were children in the home.
Multiple shots were fired and they holed up in a side bedroom until they were eventually able to exit the home through a side window.
"I went right back in to get Krystal," the teenager tearfully recounted. "I screamed at Krystal and told her to wake up."
She said Flores didn't respond.
Both later identified Bloomfield as one of the men out of a police lineup. Juan Rodriguez initially identified Lomu as the other man who had been in the home, but later conceded to Lomu's attorney, Chad Steur, that he wasn't certain it was Lomu.
"It could be not," he testified.
According to charges, Angilau was acting as a lookout and allegedly fired at a rival gang member. Naisa Angilau testified he was at a party at the home with a backyard adjacent to the one Flores was in, located at 1457 W. 1300 South, and was talking to some people in the driveway when he saw "white flashes" coming from a grove of trees.
A bullet entered the man's torso near his ribs and punctured a kidney, requiring surgery to remove the organ entirely.
Third District Judge Deno Himonas will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to order Bloomfield and Lomu to stand trial when the hearing continues Jan. 21. Angilau waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Monday. His arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 31.
Fonau has not been charged in the case. Prosecutors would not elaborate as to why.