PAYSON, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Stephan Sutton, 26, has been arrested on murder charges in the death of 28-year-old Payson resident Jeffrey Vern Jensen. The shooting happened in a vacant Flying J parking lot, around 9 p.m. Friday.
"I was just sitting in my truck in the parking lot and heard a big low sounding boom," explained Carol Harding, hotel guest.
Harding was staying next door at the Quality Inn off Exit 250 in Payson, when she heard the gun shot.
"I hadn't heard any yelling, so I didn't really suspect anything terrible," Harding said.
The murder is still under investigation, but police have confirmed drugs played a role in Jensen's death.
"We were able to confirm that he had died from a gun shot wound to the chest," Lt. Bill Wright with the Payson Police Department said.
Wright delivered the news to Jensen's family.
"He was a very loving and kind person," Jeffrey's mother Wendy said. "He loved his nieces and nephews and they loved him so much. He was so talented and could do just about anything from fixing cars to electrical [work]."
Wendy said the family would like to thank everyone for their support and prayers at this difficult time.
"I've been born and raised here. Been a police officer here for 26 years, obviously we're distressed that this occurred here," said Wright.
The shooting was initially reported by a Quality Inn employee who discovered Jensen's body.
Just before the initial call to police was made, suspect Stephan Sutton was pulled over for a traffic violation between 400 and 500 S. on Main Street in Payson.
Sutton escaped Police on foot, was tazed by officers and arrested near 600 South. He was handcuffed, and while being checked out by EMT personnel, Sutton escaped a second time, and was found hiding under a car at 536 S. Main Street. He was taken in for questioning.
His girlfriend Chaelisa Nielsen, 20, who was with Sutton when he was pulled over by police was later arrested, and has also been charged.
Sutton has been charged with aggravated murder, aggravated homicide, interfering with arrest, and obstructing of justice. Nielsen has been charged with affliction of justice and aggravated robbery.
This is Payson's second murder this year. Wright expressed that it has shaken the community.
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