DRAPER, Utah (ABC4) — A Herriman man pleaded guilty on Monday to charges against him for his involvement in a fatal shooting in Draper last year.
Ashtyn Ernesto Ortega, 19, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and felony discharge of a firearm, a first-degree felony on April 3. His plea deal was accepted.
As part of the plea deal, the charge of manslaughter, a first-degree felony, was amended to a second-degree, and the following charges were dropped; the possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, and three counts of possession, use, or transfer of a firearm by a restricted person, third-degree felonies.
Daniel Martinez, 19, a second individual involved in the incident, was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Exactly one year prior to the plea, Ortega, 17, and Martinez, 18, were involved in a fatal shooting that killed Austin Terry Powell, 27, and Jonathan July Fuentes, 21.
According to the indictment, at approximately 1 a.m. on April 3, officers responded to shots fired at an Airbnb rental in Salt Lake County. When the officers arrived they found Powell deceased lying near a Tesla with bullet holes in it. The second victim, Fuentes, was transported to Intermountain Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the head and died later that day.
Ortega and Martinez were at a party they were not invited to, and the homeowner kicked everyone out. While they were standing outside the rental, Ortega said that “an individual [he] knew” got into an argument with Powell, and asked Ortega for his gun several times. He said they fired shots at the vehicle where Powell was seated, hitting both Powell and Fuentes and causing their deaths, the plea deal said.
“I was aware of the risk that the other person might use my firearm to harm someone, and I disregarded that risk,” Ortega said. “My recklessness contributed to the death of [Powell] and [Fuentes.]”
Detectives spoke with the manager of the rental, who told them he went to the residence just prior to the shooting to shut down a party. He also provided video footage from a ring doorbell that captured 10 loud bangs “which appeared to be gunshots.”
Ortega will face his amended charges on May 31 at the Third District Court, and Martinez will meet for a pretrial on Sept. 19.