Utahn charged with stabbing friend, then calmly walking away

Utahn charged with stabbing friend, then calmly walking away

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Monticello man was charged Wednesday with stabbing his friend without warning.

Samuel Najera, 26, is charged in San Juan County’s 7th District Court with attempted murder, a second-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a third-degree felony.

About 4:30 p.m. Monday, Monticello police were called to San Juan Hospital on a report of a stabbing victim.

“The victim advised that the hospital staff told him if the knife had gone any deeper, he would have had to have emergency surgery and may have died. The area where the victim was stabbed was close to many vital organs and arteries,” a police affidavit states.

The victim told police that he had invited Najera to his apartment to hang out.

“The victim advised that he let Mr. Najera inside the apartment and offered him a shot of alcohol and a Mountain Dew. When the victim reached out to hand Mr. Najera the soda, Mr. Najera then stabbed the victim in the chest, attempting to commit murder,” the affidavit states.

Najera stabbed the man two more times and tried to hold onto him so he couldn’t get away, according to police.

“The victim stated that Mr. Najera then calmly walked out of the apartment. I asked the victim why Mr. Najera stabbed him. The victim stated that he was unsure because they were friends,” the affidavit states.

Police later located Najera at his apartment.

“We asked why he stabbed the victim and Mr. Najera stated that he was not sure, he started to feel scared and just stabbed him. When asked again, Mr. Najera stated that it was gang related, and then that he thought the victim had assaulted one of his friends,” according to the affidavit.

While using methamphetamine Mr. Najera shows a paranoia level that is a danger to the community.

–Police report

While being booked into jail, Najera allegedly told an officer that he had smoked methamphetamine about an hour prior to being arrested.

“While using methamphetamine Mr. Najera shows a paranoia level that is a danger to the community. Mr. Najera has shown that he is willing to attempt to murder even his friends,” the officer wrote.

Najera’s arrest comes almost two years to the day after he was arrested for drug possession.

On Feb. 18, 2018, Najera was “slamming the walls, throwing things, and talking to ... imaginary people. When I arrived Samuel was standing on the step holding a long metal object. He was looking around attempting to talk to someone, but I was not able to see anyone,” according to a police affidavit.

Najera was charged and convicted of drug possession in that case.

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


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