Update April 8th: Alvaro Arriaga-Luna now a suspect; clarification of murder sequence posted. See updated post HERE.
Two brothers, identified as illegal aliens by KSL Channel 5, have been arrested for two separate murders in the Salt Lake Valley.
Benjamin Arriaga-Luna had already turned himself in to police because he learned he was a person of interest in the murder of 19-year-old Stephanie Williams. During the interview, he confessed to shooting and killing Benacio Hernandez-Herrera, whose body was discovered on Sunday April 4th, 2010 by passersby in a field near 6400 West and 7400 South in West Jordan. Benjamin Arriaga-Luna told police he and Hernandez-Herrera got into a fight, after which he shot Hernandez-Herrera numerous times. He told officers he bought the gun on the street and then sold it for $200 after the shooting. Read probable cause statement HERE. Additional story by the Deseret News; KSL news video embedded below:
But guess who was arrested for the murder of Stephanie Williams? Benjamin's brother, Delfino Arriaga-Luna, who is accused of shooting Williams late on April 4th. On Tuesday April 6th, Delfino was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for aggravated murder, possession of a firearm by a restricted person and armed robbery. The circumstances, as described in this KSL story, are a bit murky. A witness told police Delfino and his brothers held Williams hostage because she owed him money. The witness says he was on the phone with the killers and heard Williams scream, but this is where the story takes a turn. Police say that witness, identified as Victor Sanchez, then kidnapped Delfino's wife and two young children to try and get Williams back. "Once he found out she was no longer alive, and had been the victim of a homicide, he actually came to the homicide scene with Delfino's wife to have her talk to us about what had happened," said Salt Lake City police Detective Pat Wilkinson. Read probable cause statement HERE.
But friends say jealousy, not money, was the motive. They say Delfino Arriaga-Luna and Williams had been in a relationship, and Delfino wanted more from her. But Williams' friends say she wasn't scared of Delfino, and she was always happy to see him.
A third brother, Alvaro "Acuaro" Arriaga-Luna, is also reportedly a person of interest and has been questioned, but has not been arrested yet. Most likely he's also an illegal alien.
Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank is fond of saying that immigration enforcement is strictly a Federal matter, not a state or local responsibility. O.K., this is an election year. Here's how Utah's Congressional delegation grades out on immigration:
Jason Chaffetz: A
Orrin Hatch: B
Jim Matheson: B-
Rob Bishop: C+
Bob Bennett: C-
All are up for re-election this year except for Hatch. You know what to do, particularly about Bob Bennett.