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Nephew of convicted double murderer in Utah is charged with armed robbery

Hugo Vaavale, 19, was charged Wednesday with robbing a 7-Eleven in Sandy at gunpoint in 2019. Prosecutors say he committed the robbery with Albert Enoch Johnson, 33, who was convicted several months later of murdering a West Jordan couple.

Hugo Vaavale, 19, was charged Wednesday with robbing a 7-Eleven in Sandy at gunpoint in 2019. Prosecutors say he committed the robbery with Albert Enoch Johnson, 33, who was convicted several months later of murdering a West Jordan couple. (Sandy police)


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SANDY — An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for the nephew of a man convicted of killing a West Jordan couple in 2020, in connection with another violent robbery at a convenience store that police say both men committed together just a few months before the double murder.

Hugo Vaavale, 19, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.

Vaavale was with an unidentified boy and Albert Enoch Johnson, 33 — who was convicted in 2020 of killing Tony and Katherine Butterfield at their West Jordan home while their three young children were asleep — when the trio entered a 7-Eleven, 9657 S. State, on Sept, 7, 2019, wearing masks and armed with guns, according to charging documents.

"One had a shotgun and the other had a handgun," according to the charges. "The males wore masks or scarves covering their faces and kept asking, 'Where is the money?'"

The clerk was told to get on the ground and "stay down." The gunmen then took approximately $160 in cash, cigarettes and gloves, charging documents states.

Then seven months later on April 18, 2020, Johnson shot and killed the Butterfields at their home early in the morning during a robbery attempt. Tony Butterfield's body was found in the backyard and his wife was found just inside the doorway. On April 22, 2020, Johnson was arrested by U.S. marshals in Stockton, California. He was returned to Utah where he was charged with two counts of aggravated murder. Johnson was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After his arrest for the murders, detectives received a tip that one of the gunmen from the convenience store robbery was Johnson. He was charged with aggravated robbery in connection with that incident, convicted and sentenced to another five years to life at the Utah State Prison in 2020. The sentence was ordered to run concurrently to the life sentence.

Johnson's wife, Sian Johnson, who was also arrested and convicted of attempted obstruction of justice, later told police that her husband and two nephews, including Vaavale, were involved in the 7-Eleven robbery, according to charging documents.

Prosecutors have requested that Vaavale be held in jail without the possibility of posting bail after he is arrested, pending trial.

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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 for the Deseret News

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