Riverton man sentenced to prison for killing Pleasant Grove father after road rage incident

Nov 29, 2023, 6:11 AM

A Pleasant Grove man was shot and killed following what police say was a road rage incident that be...

A Pleasant Grove man was shot and killed following what police say was a road rage incident that began on I-15 and ended at 160 West and 10600 South in Sandy on Oct. 26, 2022. The gunman was sentenced Tuesday for manslaughter. (Mark Wetzel, KSL TV)

(Mark Wetzel, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Just over one year ago, a Pleasant Grove man was shot and killed after a road rage incident that began on I-15 in Sandy. The gunman who shot him was sentenced Tuesday to one to 15 years in prison.

Third District Judge Randall Skanchy sentenced Rodrigo Andres Monroy, 33 — who has admitted to killing 42-year-old Chris Mortensen — to the prison term for the charge of manslaughter, a second-degree felony.

At the sentencing hearing, Hallee Mortensen told the court how her dad was her best friend.

“He was such a kind, amazing person, and you would never see him go and get into a fight for no reason,” she said.

About a week before he died, Hallee said her father told her he would be at her side, saying, “It’s you and me against the world.”

“I continue to feel him by my side every day,” she said.

‘Nothing stopped him from leaving’

On the morning of Oct. 26, 2022, Chris Mortensen was shot and killed during an argument with Monroy after charging documents say the two were involved in a brake-checking incident and then got off the freeway together.

The documents say a witness told police Monroy cut off Mortensen’s vehicle more than once and would not let him pass, and when they got off the freeway at 10600 South they stopped at a gas station. Mortensen approached Monroy’s vehicle, slapped the windshield with his hand, and then Monroy pulled out a gun, the charges say.

Charges said Monroy said Mortensen had tried to disarm him but admitted that he had control of the handgun when he fired it. A passenger in Mortensen’s truck told police Mortenson was backing away when he was shot.

The scene at a gas station in Sandy on Oct. 26, 2022, after Chris Mortensen was shot. A Riverton man was sentenced to prison on Tuesday for manslaughter after admitting to causing Mortensen’s death. (Photo: Brian Olsen)

Deputy Salt Lake County attorney Vincent Meister said Monroy initiated the situation. The attorney said Monroy sped past Mortensen’s vehicle to brake check him because he believed he was driving inappropriately; and when Mortensen tried to go around him, he cut off another car, leading Mortensen to believe he was putting people in danger.

“Nothing stopped him from leaving the situation if he was truly in fear,” Meister said.

He said Monroy knew Mortensen was not armed, and that he introduced a firearm when there was no need for deadly force and no threat of injury.

Victim’s family

Nicole Mortensen, Chris Mortensen’s wife, also spoke at Tuesday’s hearing. She said her husband was a good man and was always there for her, and she talked about how he got his daughters ready for school after the couple lost a daughter and she was unable to function well.

“He literally had no enemies. He was fun and funny and sweet,” Nicole Mortensen said.

She said her husband is a problem solver and a protector, and that she believes he got involved in the incident because he thought a woman was in danger on the freeway because of the way Monroy was driving. Nicole Mortensen said Monroy’s reaction should not have happened, and she told the judge she thinks Monroy should go to prison.

Jamie Knight, Chris Mortensen’s sister, said the phrase “never met a stranger” was a good representation of her brother, who seemed to be friends with everyone.

She said if Monroy had given her brother a few seconds to speak before pulling out a gun, she believes they would have become friends. She expressed that she thinks her brother was protecting others when he reached for the gun.

“He took that bullet so that nobody else had to,” she said.

Tragic ‘all around’

Monroy’s attorney, Adam Crayk, asked the judge for five years of probation instead of a prison sentence. He said either party could have walked away at any point. He said it is a hard case — that is tragic “all around.”

“It’s just a laundry list of horribles,” he said.

Crayk said both sides are losing a family member; Monroy, a legal immigrant, is facing deportation since he has been found guilty of taking a life.

“He’s simply somebody that go involved in an altercation that went terribly awry,” Crayk said.

Monroy said at his sentencing that he reacted, and his fight or flight mode kicked in. He said if he could go back and just not leave the house that day he would.

“I regret that day every moment of my life. I relive it every day. I want to say I’m sorry for even getting off the freeway, for reacting with fear,” he said.

Monroy asked for mercy, from the judge, Mortensen’s family and from the Lord.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News


Daniel Woodruff

Utah Legislature approves allowing more children at unlicensed day care facilities

A bill in the Utah Legislature that aims to allow unlicensed providers to care for up to eight children instead of six passed the house and senate. It now awaits Gov. Cox's signature.

4 hours ago

Neilson-Berg explaining the hassles and trouble she has been going through to get into contact with...

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt helps Google Fiber customer get her internet fixed after customer service calls go nowhere

When a Salt Lake City woman's internet connection went down, and she couldn't get a straight answer as to when it would be back up, she decided to Get Gephardt.

4 hours ago

a sign announcing rent...

Daniel Woodruff

Utah senators kill compromise bill giving tenants more notice of rent increases

A Utah lawmaker’s push to give tenants more notice of rent increases hit a wall as Republicans on a Senate committee voted not to advance it.

4 hours ago

dome and side of the Utah Capitol...

Daniella Rivera and Annie Knox, KSL TV

Truth Test: Fact-checking claims from lawmakers who voted to make their calendars secret

The KSL Investigators put lawmakers’ statements about a measure that would conceal their calendars through the KSL Truth Test.

4 hours ago

emergency lights...

Larry D. Curtis

Man ejected, in critical condition after single-car rollover on I-15 in central Utah

After an emergency call of reckless driving, a man was taken to a hospital in critical condition in a single car crash in central Utah.

4 hours ago

Sean Reyes...

Keira Fairmont

Fight for Transparency: KSL’s 15-month long battle to get Sean Reyes’ calendar

Utah’s Attorney General Sean Reyes still refuses to release his professional calendar despite State Records Committee and Judge’s orders. Now Utah Lawmakers have passed a bill to seal all public officials’ calendars.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Riverton man sentenced to prison for killing Pleasant Grove father after road rage incident