LOCAL NEWS

Coworker: Act of Kindness May Have Led to Realtor’s Death

Jan 23, 2019, 7:52 PM | Updated: 8:57 pm

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – An act of kindness may have ultimately led to the death of South Jordan realtor David Stokoe, according to the president of a real estate company who disputes the suspected gunman’s version of events.

“Dave, being Dave, had been the nice guy and really tried to help, and then started to feel like he was getting taken advantage of,” said Britt Sharp, president of Ranlife Real Estate where Stokoe worked as an agent.

In late December, Sharp said Stokoe agreed to rent the upstairs apartment of a home he owned at 878 E. Princeton Ave. in Salt Lake City.

Britt Sharp, president of Ranlife Real Estate where Stokoe worked as an agent

In court documents, police state that Jessica Miller, 38, and Manuel Velasquez, 31, moved into the unit.

“I think she had come on some hard times and had kind of given him a story of distress,” Sharp said, “and Dave, just being the kind of guy he was, tried to accommodate her.”

Sharp said there was quickly problems with the rent being paid and that Stokoe was concerned that more people might be living in the apartment than was agreed upon.

South Jordan realtor David Stokoe

Police say Stokoe, 40, was shot and killed last Thursday when he went to the apartment. His body was found the next day hidden in a crawlspace.

“My understanding is he showed up there for rent or to have a conversation about their continuing to rent there,” said Detective Greg Wilking with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Three people have been arrested in connection with Stokoe’s death. Velasquez was booked into jail for investigation of murder, obstruction of justice, transaction of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person and felony discharge of a firearm.

Diana Hernandez, 30, and Miller were booked into jail on suspicion of obstruction of justice. Jail booking documents state that the two women assisted with the cleanup of the apartment and hiding the body.

Sharp questions Velasquez’s version of events listed in the affidavit of probable cause filed to support his arrest. In the document, police write that Velasquez claimed Stokoe kicked in the door of the apartment and put him in a chokehold.

“[Velasquez] stated that he was able to free the handgun and fire several rounds into [Stokoe], causing his death,” the document states.

“We just know that that’s not who Dave was,” Sharp said. “It’s totally not something that would be in his nature or in his character.”

Sharp said that Stokoe’s wife was out of town on the day he went to the apartment, leaving him to care for the couple’s children, and that he would not have put himself at risk.

“Dave’s just not an aggressive guy,” Sharp said. “I highly doubt that he would have gone and destroyed his own property.”

Detective Wilking also disputed Velasquez’s story, saying there was no evidence of the apartment’s door being kicked in or of a chokehold.

“There are two sides of the story and we really only have one side,” Det. Wilking said. “We won’t have David’s side of the story, ever, because his voice has been silenced.”

Formal charges against the three people arrested have not been filed. Prosecutors with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office expect to meet with investigators later this week to go over the case.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Two members of USU Aviation program killed in plane crash

Two people died Friday morning in a small airplane crash in Cache County.
1 day ago
Chris Jensen and Chris Wharton have been married for six years....
Mike Anderson

LGBTQ+ community concerned Supreme Court could revisit same-sex marriage

An opinion filed by Justice Clarence Thomas has some people concerned over whether the Supreme Court could reconsider other past rulings, including same-sex marriage and contraception.
1 day ago
...
Erin Cox

Faith leaders: Abortion conversation has changed, not religious stances

KSL's Erin Cox spoke one-on-one with some of Utah's most influential faith leaders about how their stances on abortion have not changed, but the conversations surrounding them have.
1 day ago
...
Shara Park

Two Utah Olympians experience ride of a lifetime with Air Force Thunderbirds

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds gave a “Hometown Hero” ride of a lifetime to two of Utah’s Olympians Friday as final preparations are underway for this weekend’s Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show at Hill Air Force Base.
1 day ago
FILE: Image of a pregnant woman. (Deseret News, Sara Reid)...
Ashley Moser

Does Utah adequately fund support for women with unwanted pregnancies?

The number one reason Utah women seek an abortion is socioeconomic, according to statistics from the Utah Department of Health. As KSL's Ashley Moser explains, experts say there are policies lawmakers should consider right now to help women financially.
1 day ago
The Utah State Capitol on Friday, March 25 when the Utah House and Senate voted to overturn a veto....
Larry D. Curtis

BREAKING: Abortion now prohibited in Utah

The Utah law prohibiting abortion, with some exceptions, is now part of Utah legal code according to a notice sent from the Utah State Legislature Friday.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Coworker: Act of Kindness May Have Led to Realtor’s Death