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Police arrest man wanted in fatal shooting of 24-year-old

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man wanted in the death of a Sugar House man during an alleged drug deal gone bad in January has been arrested.

Erick Michael Burwell, 36, of West Valley City, who goes by the monikers "Devil" or "Diablo," according to court records, was charged May 4 in 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony; aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.

He was arrested by Salt Lake police Thursday night in the Fort Union area.

On Jan. 24, Christian McDonald, 24, was found on the side of the road near 1200 E. Parkway Ave. with a gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

The victim's brother told police that he and McDonald had arranged a drug deal with Burwell. They met at a mall parking lot where Burwell picked them up and they drove away, according to charging documents. Another man, Jeremiah Hart, was also picked up by Burwell.

When the car stopped at the area where the drug deal was to take place, Hart "pulled a firearm with an extended magazine" and demanded that McDonald's brother give him the backpack containing the drugs, the charges stated. McDonald attempted to get his own .45-caliber gun, at which time Hart shot him in the chest, took the backpack of drugs and ran out of the car, according to the charges.

Witnesses later told police that Hart stated he "didn't regret it" when talking about the shooting and that "people need to act right," according to the charges.

Hart was arrested in February and sent to the Utah State Prison for parole violation. He was charged May 4 in 3rd District Court with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and being a restricted person in possession of a firearm, a second-degree felony.

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Pat Reavy

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