Murray teen stands trial for murder after stabbing woman over racial slurs

Local News

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MURRAY, Utah (ABC4) – A teenager will stand trial after murdering a woman for asking him to stop using racial slurs.

The teenager has been identified as 17-year-old Izaak Joseph Vijil.

A Thursday hearing at a 3rd District Court in Salt Lake County ruled Vijil will stand trial for the fatal stabbing of a Murray woman on April 22, 2021. The suspect pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At the time of the fatal incident, police discovered a woman who had suffered multiple stab wounds near the 4400 block of S. Brick Oven Way in Salt Lake County. The victim, Melissa Wood, was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital.

According to court documents, Vijil was standing in the parking lot with a group of kids while uttering racial slurs. Wood, who was nearby playing with some children, approached Vijil and asked him to stop.

He approached her at that time and began stabbing her in the torso. Medical examiners later determined that Wood had been stabbed six times, with two of the stab wounds puncturing her right lung and heart. The other four stab wounds struck her diaphragm, liver, major vessels, and her chest cavity.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2022. Currently, Vijil is currently being held at the Salt Lake Valley Youth Detention Center.

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