Monday, September 24, 2007
Juan Diaz-Arevalo And Danny Gallegos Escape From Daggett County Jail In Northeast Utah, Still At Large
Two Utah prison inmates, one of who has sworn retribution on the family of one of his victims, have escaped custody in Utah and are currently at large. Full story posted on KSL Channel 5 in Salt Lake. Another story published in the Deseret Morning News.
Danny Gallegos, 49, and Juan Carlos Diaz-Arevalo, 27 (both pictured at left), escaped from the Daggett County Jail in Manila, Utah, just a short drive north of Vernal near scenic Flaming Gorge Reservoir, by climbing over a fence in the recreation area sometime during the day on Sunday September 23rd. However, corrections officers didn't become aware of their absence until the 8:00 P.M. head count on Sunday evening. Both have been convicted of killing women. Diaz-Arevalo also uses the name Juan Lopez Garcia.
Of course, that begs the question: Why are state prisoners being housed in less-secure county facilities? The answer: The Utah state prison system is overpopulated by more than 1,500 inmates, so the state pays county facilities to siphon off the excess after a screening process. Jack Ford, the spokesman for the Utah Department of Corrections, said all inmates are carefully reviewed before they are transferred to county jails. "The counties pick and choose the inmates they'll take. We can't send them management problems. We can't send them mentally ill. We can't send them inmates who have a medical problem," Ford concluded.
However, that did not reassure the Snydergaard family in the least. Danny Gallegos not only murdered Jerry Snydergaard's duaghter, Tammy, in 1991, but Gallegos threatened to kill Snydergaard for helping to put Gallegos away.
Gallegos pleaded guilty in March 1991 to aggravated murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Tammy Snydergaard of Sandy. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss two counts of attempted aggravated murder against Gallegos in exchange for his plea. Court documents show that Gallegos hid in his ex-girlfriend Stephanie Groves' closet on the night of March 11, 1990, and attacked Groves, Snydergaard and Peter Esquibel with a gun. Groves and Esquibel were able to escape to a bedroom. Snydergaard was found dead in the living room from a gunshot to the head. Gallegos was spared the death penalty but was ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison for the slaying.
And the family of Lindsey Fawson cannot exactly be thrilled, either. Juan Diaz-Arevalo was convicted of shooting his girlfriend, 22-year-old Lindsey Fawson, in the face with a sawed-off shotgun in 2005 outside a home in Draper while her sister and 3-year-old son looked on. A more detailed description of this crime can be found in the 2005 Utah Domestic Violence Deaths Report (scroll down to the first entry on page 4). This record also informs us that in agreement for the guilty pleas on the murder and other associated charges, the district attorney would not prosecute him for illegal re-entry into the United States.
K-9 units and investigators from local, state and federal agencies are searching for them in Utah and Wyoming. The Snydergaard family in particular wants them caught now. These men are considered so dangerous that prison officials urge the public not to approach them if they see them. The two escaped inmates were part of a jail contracting program.
Gallegos is described as a white male, 5-foot-7, weighing 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Diaz-Arevalo is also a white male, 5-foot-5, weighing 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Authorities believe both may be wearing gray sweatshirts. Since Diaz-Arevalo is from Mexico, there's a possibility that he (and even Gallegos) may attempt to escape in that direction; readers of this blog in Arizona and New Mexico should be alert. [Ed. Note: Now this pisses me off. O.K., Gallegos may look white, for the most part. But Diaz-Arevalo? No way he should be considered white. When Hispanics commit crimes, and are counted as white, they artificially inflate the white crime rate. This may result in uninformed public officials underestimating crime by illegal aliens. Hispanics should be treated as a separate race unless they clearly look white.]
Anyone with information should contact the Daggett County Sheriff's Office at (435) 784-3255 or Central dispatch at (435) 789-4222. Anyone outside of Utah spotting them should call their local police.