COURTS & LEGAL

Man, 19, found guilty of murder after 2022 shooting at Airbnb house party

Jun 3, 2024, 4:35 PM | Updated: 4:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — One man was convicted of first-degree murder Monday after a jury found him guilty of shooting and killing two men during a house party at a Draper Airbnb.

The jury in Third District Court found Daniel Martinez guilty of killing 27-year-old Austin Terry Powell and 21-year-old Jonathan July Fuentes.

The three of them had been at the party late on April 2, 2022. Early the next morning, the manager of the Airbnb arrived to shut it down and asked everyone to leave. Airbnb confirmed the party was unauthorized, and the manager did not consent to it happening beforehand.

Court documents state Martinez began shattering beer bottles by throwing them into the street with another person. Powell confronted them, asking them to stop and a verbal argument ensued.

Martinez began “skipping and hopping around” while firing a gun in the direction of Powell’s car, and subsequently hit Fuentes.

Powell was found by police inside his car, not breathing. He died at the scene.

Fuentes was rushed to Intermountain Medical Center where he was pronounced brain dead and died later that day, the district attorney’s office said.

“The actions by (Martinez) were callous and brazen. Two people had their lives extinguished much too early. Mr. Martinez showed complete disregard for the sanctity of human life and the safety of others when he shot at an occupied vehicle. The jury made the right call,” said District Attorney Sim Gill.

Another man connected to the case, Ashtyn Ortega, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in May of 2023 because he had reportedly passed the gun to Martinez who fired it 10 times. Even though he fired no shots, Ortega was sentenced to 5 years to life in prison.

Martinez’s sentencing is scheduled for July 18, and he faces the possibility of 25 years to life in prison.

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Man, 19, found guilty of murder after 2022 shooting at Airbnb house party