The Justice Files: It was a ‘dark day’

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Money destroyed their relationship and ended in murder.

In July 2000, Tibor Brown was found buried in his backyard in Sandy. Eventually, his business partner David Stoedter was arrested, charged and sent to prison.

He’s been there for nearly 20 years. Earlier this month he appeared before a hearing office with the Board of Pardons. Stoedter is hoping for parole.

“It was a very dark time and I honestly do not know how I could let myself get to that point where I was that low,” Stoedter said at his parole hearing.

Brown was shot several times in the head. It was a tip from a neighbor that helped Sandy police with the investigation.

“I have honestly thought long and hard about how I could do something like that,” Stoedter said. “I truly do not have an answer.”

Brown and Stoedter were in business together operating a job placement service out of Brown’s home. But he said money was an issue and it caused an argument that day Brown was murdered. Stoedter said he left the house but returned and eventually shot Brown and buried him.

“To say that I intentionally wanted to kill Tibor is just not true,” he said. “I did not go there to kill Tibor.”

He said he didn’t know what drove him to shot his business partner. A neighbor actually saw Stoedter carry a blue tarp in the backyard. Family members became concerned with Brown’s disappearance and police were called to his home. The neighbor provided information that led to Stoedter’s arrest.

“To actually take Tibor’s body and go into the backyard, I mean it’s just absolutely incredible,” he said. “It was actually settling in what I had done and how severe this was.”

Stoedter’s sentence can be up to life in prison, but the Board of Pardons can release him if he qualifies for parole.

He said he regretted destroying someone’s life and the impact it’s left on Brown’s family.

“It is just unimaginable what they have been through over the last 20 years and for that, I am deeply sorry.

Stoedter wasn’t supposed to have his hearing until later this summer, but according to prison records it was moved up because of a positive compliance record. The board will review the case and make a decision in the coming weeks.

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