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West Valley man is second charged in January drive-by shooting in Bountiful

A West Valley City man faces nine felonies in connection with a drive-by shooting in January that occurred in Bountiful.

A West Valley City man faces nine felonies in connection with a drive-by shooting in January that occurred in Bountiful. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

FARMINGTON — Prosecutors have charged a second man in connection with a January drive-by shooting in Bountiful.

Maile Kaleo Laita, 26, of West Valley City, was charged Wednesday with nine counts of felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony. The charges come months after another man, Burt Eteuati, 24, of North Salt Lake, was charged with the same slate of charges. Both are accused of taking part in a Jan. 28 shooting outside a Bountiful home.

Charging documents in Eteuati's case say that he was living at the Bountiful home for a short time, but was no longer welcome after an incident "involving the use of drugs at the home." One of the home's residents told police that Eteuati allegedly told her he "would put her in a pine box."

Police were sent to the Bountiful home after receiving a report of gunshots in the early morning hours of Jan. 28. Investigators later found nine spent shell casings of 9 mm ammunition in the road outside the home. A witness later told police that they talked with Eteuati, who said he was behind the shooting, according to charging documents. The witness also told police that they had seen the gun before and that Eteuati was seen with "another person" during the shooting.

A Bountiful police detective later interviewed Eteuati, who said he was not in Bountiful that night and was with a woman when the shooting took place. Police later used cellphone data for Eteuati, the woman and the other person, which showed that Eteuati was in Bountiful around the time of the shooting, as well as the other person, the charges state. The cellphone data showed the woman whom Eteuati said he was with that night was in Layton, according to police.

Eteuati was charged in connection with the shooting on Feb. 11. He was booked into the Davis County Jail the following day and he has been in custody since. His case was still ongoing as of Friday.

Charging documents in Laita's case say Eteuati told police he was with Laita the night of the shooting, identifying him the other person mentioned in Eteuati's charging documents.

According to police, cellphone records show the two were together around the time of the shooting, and both of their cellphones were within 300 feet of the Bountiful home at the time of the shooting. A witness told police in February that Eteuati had told her he shot at the home and Laita "had pressured him to do it," according to the charges.

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Jacob Scholl joined as a reporter in 2021. He covers northern Utah communities, federal courts and technology.


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