BURLEY — A man accused of shooting two people in Utah and leading Cassia County deputies on a two-day manhunt was arraigned June 18 in Cassia County District Court.
Jonathan Mendoza Llana, 45, of Los Angeles pleaded not guilty to felony counts of grand theft and fleeing from police.
Cassia County Prosecutor Doug Abenroth said Llana faces charges in Utah for aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder the May 22 shooting on Interstate 84 in between Tremonton and Snowville.
Police say Llana shot and killed Dennis Gwyther, 50, of Salt Lake City and injured Gwther’s passenger.
A jury trial in the Cassia County case is set for Sept. 4.
Llana fled from police at speeds of 120 mph and crashed his car upside down into the Raft River, court documents say. He’s also accused to breaking into a house and stealing an all-terrain vehicle. He was caught when he asked for directions at a ranch, police said. Court records said the parents of a child called 911 to report that Llana had approached their child and asked for directions to the nearest town.
Llana was searched for weapons and a pocket knife was recovered as he was arrested. At the jail, staff found a small handcuff key in his sleeve halfway up his right forearm, records said.