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Report: Confrontation 'went horribly wrong,' resulting in Taylorsville killing

(Salt Lake County Jail)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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TAYLORSVILLE — A woman wanted in connection with the shooting death of a Taylorsville man over the weekend has been arrested.

Tonita Vianay Espinoza, aka Tonita Rico, 49, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.

Shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday, Toussaint "TJ" L'Ouverture Tyler Jr., 30, was shot and killed inside an apartment near 742 W. Sunny River Road.

Police say a woman knocked on Tyler's door while two men hid around a corner. When Tyler opened the door, the men forced their way in while the woman stayed outside, according to police.

On Tuesday, a confidential informant contacted police and said "they had been told directly by Tonita Espinoza that she was involved and had provided several details about the homicide … that had not been broadcast by news media," according to a Salt Lake County Jail booking report.

Espinoza claimed Tyler owed her money, the report states, "so she sent two guys to intimidate him into paying her the money," but "it went horribly wrong and not as planned."

Espinoza was arrested without incident Tuesday afternoon, and a search warrant was served at the residence she was found, according to Unified police.

The search for the two men continued Wednesday. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police at 801-743-7000.

Tyler grew up in the Kent, Washington, area. He played on the Central Washington University basketball team during the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons.

A GoFundMe page* was set up by Tyler's family to help pay for funeral expenses and establish a college fund for his young daughter.

* does not assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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