OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Brian Racine was homeless and lived on the streets of Ogden. It was his choice to live that way. But in 2018, he never choose to die at the hands of two men.
Friday, a jury found one of the defendants, Cory Fitzwater guilty on all five counts including first-degree murder.
In 2018, Fitzwater and Dalton Aiken were arrested in connection to the death of Racine.
A judge claimed Racine was in the wrong place at the wrong time that night in Ogden.
According to charging documents, one of the men claimed the homeless “are a problem” for “not contributing to society.”
Two years ago, another jury found Aiken guilty of murder. He was sentenced to a minimum of 15-years and up to life in prison.
At the time Aiken told the judge: “I did not know that anything like that was going to happen but I understand I made mistakes. I lied to the police and I didn’t tell the truth when I should have.”
Racine is from California and family members were caught off guard in learning he was homeless.
His mother claimed Racine was planning to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But there was no evidence he ever did.
His brother told ABC4 that he had lost contact with Brian and was unaware he was homeless.
“The whole situation, it’s almost a year later and I am still kind of in disbelief you know, hoping one day he might just call my cell phone,” said Matthew Short.
No family members were there for the trial. But for those living on the streets, they claimed it was justice for Brian and justice for all homeless people.
“Whoever the culprit is (he) should get a life sentence in jail without the possibility of parole for the wrongdoing and the past history of what’s going on,” said a man named Steven S.
Another said it sheds light on the public and their refusal to recognize them as people.
“The job is not getting done,” said Stevan Miller Jr. “I think you have to go further than that. You need psychological education perhaps more social groups involved to get more people acquainted with homeless people.”
For now, Fitzwater remained in the Weber County jail until his sentencing on March 28.