Judge splits cases for Ogden teens accused of murder, trials will be separate

Wednesday , June 20, 2018 - 5:48 PM

OGDEN — Two Ogden teens accused of shooting and killing a woman in August will have separate trials, a judge ruled Wednesday. 

Daniel G. Garcia, 16, and Trevon Jordan Zamora, 17, were granted separate trials that will take place in early 2019. 

Garcia is charged with murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a third-degree felony. Zamora is charged with the same three counts in addition to the use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

The two are charged in connection with the death of 47-year-old Maria Sanchez, who died Aug. 14, 2017 — a day after she was shot in the head while asleep in her Ogden home.

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On Wednesday, Judge Jennifer Valencia approved an order to split the case into two so that the teens could have fair and equal trials. Valencia also assigned trial dates for Zamora, who is still in police custody.

Valencia scheduled Zamora’s trial dates for mid-January, with the first jury trial date taking place on Thursday, Jan. 10.

At the time of his arrest, Zamora was ordered to be held without bail, but Valencia later set his bail for $300,000 during an April hearing. Zamora has not posted bail and remains in the custody of a local juvenile facility.

Zamora’s counsel, Wendy Brown, argued that he should have his trial first because he’s still in custody, something that prosecutors argued against in a different hearing earlier this month. However, Brown said Wednesday that her client has the right to a speedy trial, which prosecutors didn’t argue against. 

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The tentative dates for Garcia’s trial will be in the middle of March, and the exact dates will be determined during a later court date.

Garcia posted a $150,000 bail and was released from custody in August but is required to have an ankle GPS monitor.

Although they are juveniles, both are being charged as adults in district court. It is the Standard-Examiner’s policy not to name juvenile suspects unless they are charged in adult court.

Garcia’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 25 in Ogden for an evidentiary hearing. Zamora’s next hearing will be for a pretrial conference, which is scheduled for Sept. 5 in Ogden. 

Contact reporter Jacob Scholl at jscholl@standard.net or follow him on Twitter @Jacob_Scholl.

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