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Murder charges filed in connection with Orem shooting, car accident

By McKenzie Romero | Posted - Nov 26th, 2013 @ 8:40pm


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OREM — Two men accused of shooting an Orem man in the back over a drug debt have been charged with murder.

Mason French and Travis Waldron, both 24, were drunk and angry when they confronted Rupert E. Miley, 42, at his home on Nov. 19 with the intent of resolving a drug debt, according to court documents. The three men met up soon after and all got into Miley's car.

Police found evidence of much of the dispute in text messages on the men's phones.

French and Waldron each were charged Tuesday in 4th District Court with murder, a first-degree felony, as well as possession of a firearm by a restricted person and obstructing justice, both second-degree felonies.

Waldron also faces a third-degree felony charge of possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

Both men got into Miley's car, where Waldron held the gun to Miley's head before passing it to French in the backseat, instructing him to throw the gun out the window after the shot was fired, police said.

Waldron told police he leaped from the vehicle when the shot was fired and fled the area while French remained in the car, according to court documents. Police later arrested Waldron without incident.

Miley attempted to drive himself to the hospital, but he crashed near 800 North and 100 East about 3:15 a.m. Police located him slumped over in the driver's seat, bleeding and struggling to breathe. He later died.

French was lying on the ground next to the car. He gave police several conflicting stories about why he was there, including one that he was a pedestrian. The gun, located nearby, was registered to French's father, charges state.

French was charged in March with felony drug possession, and Waldron has a history of drug-related convictions and charges, in addition to theft, according to state court records.

Both men are scheduled to appear in 4th District Court on Wednesday.

Miley also had a history of drug-related arrests and convictions.

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