Son points finger at father in unsolved triple murder


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – A new lead was discovered for an unsolved triple murder.

The bodies of Danny Gallegos, Braden Emerson and Levi Collins have never been found.  They went missing in 2014 after Salt Lake City police found an abandoned vehicle on the west side.  

According to search warrants released over the past three years, police found evidence of the men who police later determined they were murdered.

From the outset, police targeted but never charged Richard Christopher and his son, Justin.

Tuesday in federal court, Justin Christopher was sentenced on a money laundering case involving drug money allegedly tied to the three men.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune and confirmed by ABC4 News, prior to sentencing, his attorney Loni Deland told the judge about the Salt Lake murders.

Deland said Justin who was given immunity claimed his father murdered the three men and he helped move the bodies.
“I can’t comment about anything that was said or not said,” said Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill.

Gill said the case is still being investigated and a top priority for his office.  A spokesman for the Salt Lake Police Department said they submitted their findings to the district attorney’s office and are waiting for their decision on possible charges.

Gallegos’ mother Frances Baca told ABC4 she was upset that Justin Christopher was given immunity.

A former prosecutor said he may not face charges.

“If he’s given absolute immunity by the Department of Justice, the State of Utah will be bound by that,” said Greg Skordas, now a defense attorney.

Despite what Justin claimed in court about his father, Gill said they still need to convince a jury.

“It’s not about what somebody says or somebody knows,” said Gill.  “It’s about being able to prove and corroborate.”

Calls to Loni Deland were not returned.

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