SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A man received life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on Wednesday after pleading guilty to the “heinous” murder of Kaitlyn Barron, 23, of San Antonio, Texas.

According to court documents, Jovanie Alejandro Silva, 24, was accused of hitting Barron in the head multiple times with a large wedged-shaped rock and ultimately killing her in South Salt Lake on Sept. 27, 2020. Silva pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Wednesday, April 5, at the Third District Court.

“Mr. Silva took Ms. Barron’s life in the early morning hours with no one around to hear her
screams for help,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.

Surveillance video reportedly captured Silva carrying a skateboard and directing Barron to the south side of a building near 300 West Ironwood Drive around 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2020. After they went out of sight of the camera, Barron could be heard yelling “Knock it off.” followed by sounds of impact and more screaming.

South Salt Lake police say they believe those sounds came from Barron being struck by a large stone that was found at the scene covered in blood. Silva reappeared in the camera just after 5 a.m. carrying his skateboard, according to charging documents. Barron was found deceased the next day with over 40 severe lacerations to her head.

An employee of a homeless resource center on 1000 West was able to identify the man in the surveillance footage as Silva. Police obtained a warrant to collect Silva’s blood-stained underwear from the homeless resource center, and forensic testing later revealed the blood on Silva’s clothing matched Barron’s blood.

The Utah Office of Medical Examiner determined Barron was killed by blunt force trauma and ruled her manner of death a homicide.

“We applaud the judge for delivering a sentence of life without the possibility of parole
that will ensure Mr. Silva will never be back on Salt Lake County streets again,” Gill said. “We would like to thank Breanne Miller, Fred Burmester, and Brittany Krueger for leading the prosecution team that has now put Mr. Silva in prison for the rest of his life.”