‘Lost our breath’: Friends of Mackenzie Lueck react to seeing her accused killer on a courtroom video monitor

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The man charged with killing Mackenzie Lueck then burning and burying her body appeared in court for the first time Monday morning.

Three of Lueck’s friends were in the courtroom this but 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi was not.

Ajayi uttered only 3 words during a video appearance from the Salt Lake County Jail. 

After the judge said “Good morning Mr. Ajayi”, he replied, “Good morning sir.”

Ajayi then stood emotionless as he listened to the four charges against him: aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a human body.

The entire process took just a minute and 5 seconds and even though Ajayi wasn’t physically there it was difficult for 3 of Mackenzie’s friends to see him.

“We just immediately lost our breath,” Ashley Fine told reporters. “I think that we were holding hands and just…I refuse to say this person’s name. This is probably the last time I’ll give him any sort of attention because I don’t think he deserves any attention.”

Those friends say they have questions that may never be answered even during a trial.

“Why Kenzie? What did she do to deserve this?” Kennedy Stoner asked. “Why burn half of her body?” 
“I think we’re all in extreme shock,” Fine said. “Even right now I feel like I can call her and text her and she’ll answer…We didn’t get to say goodbye to our friend. This person stole our friend from us so I don’t know if we’ll ever have closure. No matter what happens with this case any answer that we get will never justify this in our opinion and we have to move on but right now we just want to make sure that Kenzie gets the justice she deserves.”

Ajayi’s next court appearance is scheduled on Monday, July 29th at 2 p.m. in front of Judge Richard McKelvie. 


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