SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A Salt Lake City man was convicted last week of shooting and killing a Taylorsville man over money owed back in December 2017.
A jury at the Third District Court found Shaun Eugene Fleming, 42, guilty of nine felony charges on Friday, March 31, including first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, child kidnapping, obstructing justice and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.
According to court documents, Fleming was accused of tying three people up with duct tape and shooting a man, later identified as Toussaint “TJ” L’Ouveture Tyler, in the presence of a four-year-old child over a money dispute. Fleming was arrested in Palm Springs, California, in January 2018, and he pleaded not guilty to all nine charges in October 2018.
“We hope these convictions will help keep Mr. Fleming from harming another family,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. “We send our condolences to Mr. Tyler’s loved ones and hope the jury’s decision helps provide some closure for them. We want to acknowledge the hard work of our lead prosecutors Josh Graves and Heather Lindsay, as well as the excellent work done by their staff. We would also like to thank our partners at Unified Police Department for conducting a thorough investigation, that helped secure the convictions in this case.”
On Dec. 10, 2017, Fleming and another man reportedly waited around the corner as another woman, Tonita Vianay Rico, 49, knocked on the door of an apartment in Taylorsville. When the door was opened, the two men forced their way into the home.
Fleming then put the witness who answered the door in a chokehold and pointed a gun to their head, all while a four-year-old child was standing next to the witness.
The two men reportedly asked if anyone else was in the home and threatened to shoot the child if they lied. After searching through the home, the men found two other occupants and bound them, along with the first witness, with duct tape.
The two men then located Tyler in the master bedroom and forced him to open a safe. A struggle ensued, which led to Fleming shooting Tyler in the head. One of the witnesses informed police later on that Fleming was the one in charge and telling the other man what to do. They also said that Fleming was the one running out of the apartment with the gun.
Tyler was transported to the Intermountain Medical Center in critical condition and later died from his injuries. The Utah Office of the Medical Examiner preliminarily determined that Tyler died of a gunshot wound to the head.
When questioned, Rico said she arrived at the apartment complex in a car with Fleming and another man. Fleming then asked her to knock on the door of an apartment unit because people in there owed him money.
Rico was found guilty of manslaughter and aggravated burglary on Jan. 9. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 10.
Fleming’s sentencing hearing is set on May 19, 2023.