Guns, electronics found in car of man suspected in Utah killing, warrants state

Guns, electronics found in car of man suspected in Utah killing, warrants state

(Idaho State Police)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Guns and numerous electronic devices were found in the car driven by the California man who allegedly shot and killed a Salt Lake man at random while driving on a Utah freeway, court records show.

Dennis Gwyther, 50, was driving to Idaho on May 22 when another car pulled up next to him on I-84 in Box Elder County and multiple shots were fired, according to charging documents. Gwyther died at the scene.

The fleeing silver Jetta was spotted by the Idaho State Police near the Utah-Idaho border. The ensuing chase ended when the fleeing car crashed into a canal in Cassia County near Burley, Idaho, where I-84 and I-86 meet. The driver of the Jetta ran after crashing, sparking a two-day manhunt that ended when Jonathan Mendoza Llana, 45, of Los Angeles, was taken into custody about 10 miles from the crash.

Gwyther was shot in the face, according to police. An autopsy determined he "suffered gunshot wounds from a high-powered rifle," according to a newly released search warrants filed by the State Bureau of Investigation in 3rd District Court.

While searching the Jetta, "a Ruger P80 firearm was located on the front passenger floorboard," the warrant states, as well as "firearms, firearm parts and accessories."

In addition, investigators found "numerous electronic devices" including a camera, a couple of phones, a laptop, a hard drive and a dash camera, according to the warrant.

Llana was charged in 1st District Court with aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder, both first-degree felonies. As of Thursday, he was still awaiting extradition back to Utah.


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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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