Fassett homicide

Cassia County Sheriff officers take down police tape Thursday at 434 W. Main St. in Burley. The owner of Fassett Transmission was found fatally shot at the business on Dec. 13 night.

LAURIE WELCH, TIMES-NEWS

BURLEY — The man who police say confessed to shooting another man to death in a robbery gone wrong was arraigned on a charge of first-degree murder Friday.

Luis Gabriel Ponce, 21, is also charged with felony counts of attempted robbery and burglary. He is held on $2 million bond.

Cassia County Sheriff deputies discovered 58-year-old Christopher A. Fassett’s body under a car at his shop Wednesday evening. Fassett owned Fassett Transmission, 434 West Main St.

Court documents say Ponce went to the Cassia County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday to tell deputies that he had seen Fassett the day before. Upon questioning from deputes, Ponce told them he shot Fassett after asking him for money.

Deputies said Ponce admitted he planned robbing money from Fassett.

Ponce said he had not worked for two months, and he knew Fassett had money at the shop, court records said. He wore gloves when he entered the shop and carried a gun in a holster on his hip. He told officers he took one of the gloves off when he shot Fassett because his finger wouldn’t fit inside the gun’s trigger guard.

When Ponce asked Fassett for money, he became angry. Ponce went outside and loaded a round in the gun’s chamber, then stuck the gun in his sweatshirt pocket.

He went back inside the shop and shot Fassett, who was lying on a creeper under the vehicle, in the stomach. He told police that Fassett then asked him “why?”

He told Fassett he shot him because he needed money and Ponce then shot Fassett in the head “to finish him off.”

Ponce locked the front door and wiped the doorknob off and he moved Fassett’s body a little but he couldn’t find his wallet or money, court records said.

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According to the records, Ponce told police he knew Fassett kept money in shoe boxes in the apartment area of the shop, where Fassett lived, so he went through some boxes but couldn’t find any money. He said Fassett had $20 but Ponce had given him that money.

In the end, he said, he didn’t steal anything from the shop.

Court documents say Ponce told police he was going to leave through the front door but remembered the business across the street had a camera so he went out the garage door and walked toward the library. He said he threw the gloves in a garbage can and put the gun in his bedroom at his home.

When Ponce went to the sheriff’s office he was still wearing his clothing from the day he shot Fassett, police said.

Officers took the gloves and the gun for evidence.

A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 29 in Cassia County Magistrate Court.

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