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Utahn charged with kidnapping Latter-day Saint missionaries

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Jul 1st, 2019 @ 11:14am


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WEST VALLEY CITY — Criminal charges have been filed against a West Valley man who police say invited Latter-day Saint missionaries to his house and then held them at gunpoint.

Alfredo Paul Herrera, 45, who also goes by the name Paul Gutierrez Marquez, was charged last week in 3rd District Court with six counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, all third-degree felonies.

On June 20, six missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints went to Herrera's house after being invited over the day before. But after the six men sat down, Herrera offered them alcohol, began asking personal questions and showed them a gun, according to charging documents.

Herrera "became angry" when one of the missionaries refused to hold the gun, and pointed the weapon at two of the men, the charges state.

"(Herrera) refused to allow any of the elders to leave his home, telling them they were not allowed to leave until he said they could go," according to the charges.

The missionaries were held in the house for more than an hour "until they were eventually able to calm the defendant down and leave the house," investigators wrote in the court documents.

Bail was set at $100,000. An initial court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.

Herrera was convicted of attempted violation of a court order jail release agreement in a domestic violence-related case in 2017, according to state court records. The conditions for his probation in that case included completing domestic violence and substance abuse treatment, agreeing not to drink alcohol or possess firearms.

Under his Marquez name, he was convicted of intoxication in 2017 while an assault charge in a domestic-violence incident was dismissed, court records state. In 2015 he was also convicted of assault in another domestic-violence incident. In 2010 he took a plea in abeyance, pleading guilty to battery in a domestic violence case.

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