Why court proceedings in Aaron Lowe murder case were postponed nine times

Sep 26, 2022, 7:25 PM | Updated: 8:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — One year after the death of University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe on September 26, 2021, prosecutors continue to pour over digital evidence and the case against his accused killer continues to get pushed back in court.

The criminal prosecution of Buk Mawut Buk for the alleged aggravated murder of Aaron Lowe has been postponed nine times, according to Utah State Courts. That includes multiple requests from defense attorneys and at least one request from prosecutors.

Buk’s preliminary hearing was supposed to happen this month, but in a scheduling hearing earlier in September, the prosecutor asked the judge to postpone the preliminary hearing “at least a couple of months.”

Utah Football’s Aaron Lowe killed, another injured in SLC shooting

According to an audio recording of that hearing obtained by KSL, when the judge asked why, the prosecutor responded, “We just have a lot more stuff to dig through.”

“This is something we’re going to have to work out on all of these [aggravated] murders is the amount of time it used to take to get prepared has been tripled because, you know, everything’s like piles and piles of cell phone data and videos.” 

“So, for us as prosecutors, it’s about recovering that evidence. It’s about going through the plethora of evidence that’s there,” said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. 

Gill said data and videos from cell phones, body cameras, ring cameras, and social media have added to the workload of his team as they work to prosecute cases in court like the shooting that killed Aaron Lowe. 

Even with misdemeanor cases, Gill acknowledged combing through digital evidence has added to the workload.

“That has meant hundreds of hours that they have to now review that they historically didn’t have to do.”

At the same time, Gill said the price they pay for more evidence “can mean the difference of a successful prosecution or solving of the case or not.”

“But it’s also given us accuracy. But it’s also given us thoroughness. It’s also given us sometimes an eye witness account which might have been missing.”

Gill also noted more than 80% of defendants in the Salt Lake County jail waiting for their time in court are being held on violent offenses. And he said there is a 12 to 18-month backlog in the courts post-COVID. In his regular call with prosecutors’ offices across the country, he said nearly all of them are reporting a 12 to 36-month backlog.

Tania Mashburn,  communications director at Utah State Courts said, “the courts have continued to make progress reducing the number of pending cases across the state while simultaneously conducting 20% more jury trials than the historical average.”

Mashburn noted that prior to the pandemic, the courts resolved 95% of district court criminal cases within 12 months. In the most recent fiscal year, she said, that number has dropped to 84%.

“Our work to address these pending criminal cases will continue in earnest through 2023,” she said.

On the anniversary of Aaron Lowe’s death, the University of Utah Football team honored him in a tweet that said, “One year without you. We play for you. We love harder, we smile bigger and we work fiercely with the intention of getting 22% better each day. Your life and legacy have made a lasting impact so big that it cannot be measured. We love you, A Lowe, and we miss you.”

Defense attorneys requested the judge push back Buk’s preliminary hearing even more on Monday. It is currently scheduled for February 3, 2023.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Some residents of an Orem student apartment complex ran for their lives after shots were fired on t...
Pat Reavy,

Man accused of shooting at Orem apartment complex surrenders

A Utah man accused of shooting people at an Orem apartment complex in a confrontation caught on video has surrendered to police.
16 hours ago
(Karah Brackin/KSL TV)...
Karah Brackin

U of U working to get victims help after two cameras found in Student Life Center

The University of Utah and its department of public safety said Thursday they are focusing on victims and getting them the help they need to move forward after two cameras were found in the Student Life Center.
16 hours ago
(FILE) Salt Lake City Police car responding to a scene....
Madison Swenson

Police: Man arrested for burglarizing two SLC businesses

A 44-year-old man has been arrested after police say he burglarized two businesses in downtown Salt Lake City, including an office space belonging to the Utah Attorney General's Office.
16 hours ago
[FILE] Jail Handcuffs (KSL-TV)...
Michael Houck

Utah man pleads guilty to child pornography charges in Virginia

A Cedar City man has pleaded guilty to child pornography charges after sending explicit videos to an undercover FBI agent in Virginia.
2 days ago

Former American Fork soccer coach arrested on charges of child sexual abuse

A 47-year-old former soccer coach in American Fork is in jail and facing multiple counts of felony sexual abuse of a child.
2 days ago
Kevin Johnson is shown at the Clayton Courthouse Tuesday, April 3, 2007, in Clayton, Mo....
Dakin Andone, CNN

Man who murdered police officer in 2005 has been executed in Missouri

Kevin Johnson -- a death row inmate who was convicted in the 2005 murder of a Kirkwood, Missouri, police officer but claimed racial bias in his prosecution -- was executed Tuesday night by lethal injection.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Why court proceedings in Aaron Lowe murder case were postponed nine times