Man Accused of Lying About Weapon Reaches Plea Deal

Man Accused of Lying About Weapon Reaches Plea Deal

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A man charged with lying to investigators about how Trolley Square gunman Sulejman Talovic got a handgun used to kill one person in a shooting spree that left five dead has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

Talovic was 18 when he killed five people and left four others with bullet wounds at Trolley Square on Feb. 12. He was killed by police who rushed to the Salt Lake City mall to stop the massacre.

Authorities were never able to determine his motive.

On Friday, Matthew Hautala, 21, of Rock Springs, Wyo., scheduled a change of plea hearing, according to court documents. Hautala will enter his plea Monday, a date previously set for his trial on a federal felony count of lying to investigators.

Prosecutors said Hautala lied when he told detectives he had no knowledge of how Mackenzie Glade Hunter, 20, of West Jordan, got the handgun he helped sell to Talovic.

Hautala is accused of telling investigators he knew nothing about the transfer of the gun from Kolby Darlington to Mackenzie Glade Hunter in Rock Springs, Wyo., in June 2006.

Prosecutors say Hunter got the gun either by stealing it or trading cocaine for it. Darlington had taken the gun from his father, David.

When Talovic approached co-worker Hunter about getting a gun in June or July 2006, prosecutors say, Hunter and Brenden Taylor Brown, 21, of West Jordan sold the gun to him and split an $800 profit.

Talovic used the handgun to kill one person in the mall. A pistol-grip, Maverick Arms, Model 88, 12-gauge shotgun also used in the rampage was sold to Talovic at a gun shop in West Valley City.

Westley Wayne Hill, a licensed gun dealer at Sportsman's Fast Cash Pawn in West Valley City who sold the shotgun to Talovic, is charged in a separate indictment with selling the gun to a buyer under the age of 21.

Hunter pleaded guilty to a felony count of possessing a gun while using drugs and a reduced misdemeanor count of supplying a minor with a handgun. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 14.

Brown pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor federal charge of selling a handgun to a minor and received a year probation.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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