Charges filed in fatal shooting allegedly started with argument over a cigarette

Oct 22, 2022, 3:26 PM | Updated: Nov 22, 2022, 11:09 pm
A man who police say shot another man in the head as he walked away from an argument that started o...
A man who police say shot another man in the head as he walked away from an argument that started over a cigarette, and then blamed the deceased man, has been charged with murder. (Google Earth Pro)
(Google Earth Pro)

SALT LAKE CITY — Saying that he should be treated as a “habitual offender,” prosecutors on Friday filed charges against a man accused of shooting another man in the head as he walked away from an argument that allegedly started over a cigarette.

Joseph Marquez, 60, was charged in 3rd District Court with murder and possession of a gun by a restricted person, first-degree felonies; and two counts of obstruction of justice, second-degree felonies. If convicted, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office believes Marquez should receive enhanced penalties for being a habitual offender, according to charging documents.

His co-defendant, Tommy Glasker, 71, of Salt Lake City, was charged with possession of a gun by a restricted person, transfer of a gun to a restricted person, and two counts of obstructing justice, all second-degree felonies.

On Oct. 11, Nickolas Parks, 38, and his girlfriend were staying at the Wasatch Inn, 1416 S. State Street. The woman said that after he woke up, she tried to find someone she could get a cigarette from and knocked on Marquez’s door. Marquez swore at the woman and a verbal argument ensued, charging documents state. Parks heard the argument and when he went to investigate, he also got into a verbal altercation with Marquez, the charges state.

Parks and his girlfriend then walked away and found another woman who invited them into her room to share a cigarette.

“A short time later, Marquez pounded on (her) door saying, ‘Come out here, I got a hot one for you,'” the charges state.

Parks and his girlfriend left the room and continued arguing with Marquez.

“Parks and Marquez then started pushing each other back and forth. Parks and (his girlfriend) turned to leave, and Marquez shot Parks in the head,” according to the charges.

Parks was taken to a local hospital in life-threatening condition and died on Oct. 17.

Prior to the shooting, the girlfriend said she heard Marquez talking on the phone with another man and told him to “bring the heat,” the charges state. Not long after, video from security cameras showed Glasker arriving at the motel and handing something to Marquez in a white bag, the charges state. After the shooting, Glasker drove Marquez away from the scene.

While police were still at the motel, Glasker returned and was arrested; and Marquez was arrested a few days later after police found him at Glasker’s Salt Lake City apartment. As he was being taken into custody, Marquez asked a detective what charges Parks was going to face. When the officer said none, Marquez replied, “Oh, so he’s getting a free pass then,” the charges state.

When the officer told Marquez “that Parks was missing half of his brain, Marquez said, ‘That’s his … fault. He shouldn’t have been acting like such a tough guy,'” charging documents state.

In their request to have Marquez held in the Salt Lake County Jail without bail pending trial, prosecutors note that he “has an extensive criminal history, including violent offenses and has spent significant amounts of time incarcerated for his criminal behavior. Notwithstanding the significant efforts made over the years to rehabilitate the defendant, he continues to engage in both criminal behavior and violent offenses with complete callousness and disregard for the sanctity of human life, which resulted in the death of the victim in this case.”

Prosecutors have also requested that Glasker, who also has a long criminal history, be held without bail.

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Charges filed in fatal shooting allegedly started with argument over a cigarette