Utah man accused of trying to hire hitman, use stimulus check as payment while behind bars

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A Salt Lake City man is facing charges after investigators say he used his stimulus check to try to hire a hitman to kill his former girlfriend and her new boyfriend, all while he was already in prison. He now faces two first-degree felonies.

According to charging documents obtained by ABC4.com, 28-year-old Lorenzo Gutierrez approached a fellow inmate at the Adult Detention Center in Salt Lake County in early April 2020 about “soliciting someone to murder the defendant’s ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.” In exchange, Gutierrez allegedly offered to pay the inmate with heroin, methamphetamine, and $10,000 in cash.

A month later, after law enforcement says they installed a recording device in Gutierrez’s cell, he was allegedly heard telling his cellmate “he wanted things handled while he was in jail so that he wouldn’t be a suspect.”

Detectives with Unified Police spoke with Gutierrez’s cellmate, a confidential informant, who said Gutierrez had asked if he knew anyone who could “smoke” his former girlfriend. Authorities say they instructed the cellmate to tell Gutierrez he did and to send a letter to “Bill Murphy,” the alias of an undercover AFT agent.

That same day, detectives say they intercepted a letter to Bill Murphy in which Gutierrez allegedly says he wants his former girlfriend and her new boyfriend “smoked,” directions of how to get to her, and how he would pay for it. Detectives sent a letter to Gutierrez with a phone number for Bill Murphy, which he allegedly called multiple times in June.

According to charging documents, Gutierrez tried to get Bill Murphy to meet with a friend. Gutierrez allegedly tried to have his friend pay Bill Murphy and to get in touch with him. At one point, detectives say Gutierrez offered a stimulus check as a down payment for the contract. In early July, detectives report Gutierrez told Bill Murphy his friend had a firearm and car she could give him as payment.

Gutierrez was transferred to the Utah State Prison in July where detectives say he contacted his friend and Bill Murphy multiple times about his plans. Court records show a no bail hold has been issued for Gutierrez and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has charged him with two counts of criminal solicitation.

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