Man accused in shooting now faces murder charge

Man accused in shooting now faces murder charge

(Sevier County Jail/File)

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RICHFIELD — A Sevier County man has been charged with murder in a shooting that followed an apparent brawl.

William Gene Muir, 39, was charged with murder Monday in 6th District Court in the death of David Rioja, 36. Rioja's body was found after two 911 calls came into dispatchers on Nov. 22 — one reporting shots fired, and another reporting an assault.

In the second call, a man later identified as Muir "said he had been in a fight with a man with a baseball bat and that he had shot him."

Police responding to 190 E. 155 South found Rioja lying in the driveway, shot twice, according to a probable cause statement. He died at the scene.

Near his body, police found a fractured wooden handle, like a handle from an ax, with blood on it. Broken glass and a partial window frame, later found to match Muir's vehicle, were also in the driveway.

Rioja's brother reported he had heard what sounded like a fight, with the other person involved leaving and then returning before more shouting rang out and three shots were fired.

Additional officers responded to a 911 call from Muir's home five blocks away, 185 W. 800 South. After determining Muir had made the 911 call, he was placed in handcuffs and a woman in the home led officers to a .38 special revolver in a closet, according to the probable cause statement.

As he was led from the home Muir asked, "Did I kill him?"

As he was led from the home to be treated for his injuries before being booked into Sevier County Jail, Muir asked, "Did I kill him?"

The woman told officers Muir had come to the house looking like he had been assaulted and then left again. When he returned a second time, he was carrying a gun, court documents state.

The woman explained that Muir keeps the gun in his lunchbox, which was found open with ammunition nearby.

Muir was scheduled to make an initial appearance in court Tuesday. With the exception of three misdemeanor DUI or alcohol-related convictions between 1995 and 1999, he has no significant criminal history in Utah, according to state court records.


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McKenzie Romero


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