Charges unsealed in WVC murder case

Jun 18, 2022, 8:14 AM

Noel Munoz Lopez, 34, faces charges in a homicide that occurred in West Valley City. (West Valley C...

Noel Munoz Lopez, 34, faces charges in a homicide that occurred in West Valley City. (West Valley City Police Department)

(West Valley City Police Department)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Friday that charging documents for Noel Lopez have been unsealed in the murder case of 82-year-old Farrell Bartschi .

While charges were filed against Lopez in October 2021, documents were sealed until this week.

According to a press release from Gill’s office, Lopez faces 4 charges:

  • Count 1: Murder- First Degree Felony
  • Count 2: Purchase, Transfer, Possession or Use of a Firearm by Restricted Person- Second Degree Felony
  • Count 3: Felony Discharge of a Firearm- Third Degree Felony
  • Count 4: Felony Discharge of a Firearm- Third Degree Felony

“West Valley Police Department did incredible work on this case and they deserve to be commended. This was not an easy case to put together,” said District Attorney Sim Gill. “I also want to thank our prosecutors that made this case a priority. This is the first step towards helping the victims and community find a measure of justice.”

Bartschi was killed on October 4th, 2021, his family said he was an innocent bystander who was shot by a complete stranger on Oct. 4 during a morning walk.

The shooting occurred near 3800 South and 4220 West in West Valley City.

The West Valley City Police Department named Noel Munoz Lopez, 34, as a person of interest in the case later that month and offered a reward of $2,000. The victim’s family offered to double the reward.

Family of elderly man killed in West Valley shooting ‘heartbroken’ at his loss

Charges allege Lopez fired three shots at Bartschi, one shot hitting him in the torso.

“Lopez’s relatives came out of the residence, confronted Lopez, and then tried to render lifesaving aid to Mr. Bartschi, which (were) not successful,” documents say. “Mr. Bartschi was declared deceased at the scene.”

Documents say Lopez fled the scene after the shooting.

“Lopez was paroled in March of 2021 and in a few months was again in possession of a firearm, being a Category I restricted person convicted violent felon on parole, which he used to kill an unarmed man who posed no threat to Lopez,” the documents say.

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Charges unsealed in WVC murder case