Utah teen reportedly accused of killing man who sold him paprika instead of pot

Utah prosecutors charged and jailed a 17-year-old as an adult after he allegedly shot and killed a man for selling him cooking spices instead of weed, according to a report.

Seth Carreras was booked into the Davis County Jail on Jan. 5 and detained without bail on murder and assault charges, according to online records, following the slaying of Hunter Woodson, 19, on Nov. 21, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The assault charge was reportedly related to a separate incident in which the suspect was accused of kicking an employee at the juvenile prison where he was previously held.

The shooting was preempted by an alleged botched drug deal in which Woodson reportedly tried to sell a combination of paprika, salt, pepper and a myriad of other ingredients to Carreras instead of the promised marijuana, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by The Tribune.

BRITISH MAN HAS DECADES-OLD THEFT CONVICTION CLEARED AFTER GOOGLING ARRESTING OFFICER’S NAME

Woodson’s girlfriend witnessed the incident and spoke to police, The Tribune said.

Woodson and Carreras had reportedly agreed to a sale of 1.5 ounces of marijuana, despite the fact that Woodson didn’t have that much to sell, the affidavit said. The pair allegedly tried out some of the weed at Woodson’s house before Carreras reportedly left to get enough money for the deal.

When the suspect returned, Woodson’s girlfriend reportedly went outside to retrieve the money while her boyfriend was inside mixing the spice concoction, The Tribune said. After Carreras received the bag of fake drugs, and realized he’d been scammed, the girlfriend reportedly went back to the house to tell Woodson, the affidavit said.

Carreras allegedly then entered Woodson’s home and found the pair in his bedroom. The girlfriend reportedly saw Carreras’ gun, and told police he shot Woodson “a lot of times” before rummaging through his pockets and shooting him again, the affidavit said.

Authorities were called to the scene and shortly after found the suspect at his home, as well as several drug-related items and weapons, The Tribune said.

Members of Woodson’s family who were present in court on Jan. 5 said Carreras had an “evil smile” on his face and seemed “proud of what he did,” according to the outlet.

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Former Iowa State basketball star Georges Niang to sign with Utah Jazz

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Former Iowa State basketball star Georges Niang will sign a two-way NBA contract with the Utah Jazz.

A two-time All-American and Iowa State’s No. 2 all-time leading scorer, Niang played for the Santa Cruz Warriors, the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors’ G League affiliate.

He played and started 26 games for Santa Cruz this season, averaging 18.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.

“I’m knocking on the door; I’m right there,” Niang said in November, when Santa Cruz played the Iowa Wolves in Des Moines. “But I have to continue to improve day-in, day-out, and continue to improve on the things they need me to work on."

Niang was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the second round (Pick No. 50) of the 2016 NBA Draft. He played just 23 games for the Pacers, averaging nearly 1 point and 4 minutes per contest.

Cyclone teammate Naz Mitrou-Long signed a two-way contract with the Jazz last month.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Utah will have to waive either Mitrou-Long or Erik McCree in order to make room for Niang.

Utah (17-24) faces the Charlotte Hornets (15-24) on Friday.

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Top US diplomat in Venezuela speaks out on Utah man’s case

CARACAS, Venezuela – The top U.S. diplomat in Venezuela is urging authorities to ensure transparency in the case of a jailed American whose trial has become another sore spot in relations between the two nations.

Recently arrived charge d’affaires Todd Robinson told The Associated Press on Friday that he reminded Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza in a recent meeting of his "responsibility to guarantee transparency" in the case of Joshua Holt.

Holt traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry a fellow Mormon he met online and was jailed with his fiancée soon after. A judge ruled in December that he will stand trial on weapons charges.

Socialist party leader Diosdado Cabello has accused Holt of running an espionage ring.

The U.S. Embassy’s top diplomat at the time was denied access to a preliminary hearing.

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Cavaliers lose on LeBron James’ birthday, 104-101 to Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — LeBron James’ birthday and this three-game Cavs’ road trip ended with a dud.

The Utah Jazz beat Cleveland 104-101 on Saturday, James’ 33rd birthday, making the Cavs an ugly 0-for-3 on the trip. They’ve lost four out of five, and the best that can be said for this trip was, hey, at least they tasted some good wine in Napa.

James, who entered play averaging 33.5 points in six previous birthday games, finished with 29 points, eight rebounds, six assists and six turnovers. He missed on a drive with 29 seconds left that could’ve cut Cleveland’s deficit to one. Three of his turnovers came in the fourth quarter.

The Cavs are now 0-4 here since James returned to the Cavs.

"I need a win here. I suck here," James said before the game. "I personally don’t suck. But my team sucks when we come here. We cannot win a game."

The trend continued.

Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter. Derrick Favors added 19 points for the Jazz, Ricky Rubio was great with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Thabo Sefolosha contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Kevin Love scored 20 points but shot 6-of-16. His 3-pointer with 1:35 left made it 98-97 Jazz, but Dwyane Wade missed a 3 with 52 seconds that would’ve given the Cavs the lead. Mitchell responded with a layup at the other end.

Jeff Green scored 22 off the bench, Tristan Thompson contributed 11 points and five rebounds and Wade added nine points. Kyle Korver didn’t score in 18 minutes and was 0-for-5 shooting. Jose Calderon, playing opposite Rubio, didn’t score either.

James’ teams had lost their last six against the Jazz and were 2-9 in his last 11 games against Utah. And yet his 29.4 points per game over his career against Utah (before Saturday’s game) was his second-highest scoring average against any team.

The Jazz had lost three straight entering play Saturday.

James opened the game as though he likes playing on his birthday (he already said he did), scoring 12 on 5-of-7 shooting while the Cavs jumped to a 32-22 lead. He closed the half with a ridiculous turnaround, fadeaway jumper at the buzzer for a 53-48 advantage.

And then, the Jazz leaned over and blew out all the candles on James’ cake. Utah outscored the Cavs 23-3 over the first 7:47 of the third quarter. The Jazz led by as many as 15 and was ahead 76-69 at the end of the period.

James didn’t score in the third, but he did get a technical. Both he and Sefolosha were slapped with them for jawing at each other. The Cavs shot 4-of-19 in the quarter and were 1-of-13 at one point.

James went over 8,000 rebounds for his career.

NEXT: The Cavs return home (for one game) to play the Portland Trail Blazers at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

LeBron James took exception to a Thabo Sefolosha foul during Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James got off to a strong start against Utah on Saturday.

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Lane County teen dies, family members injured in single-vehicle crash in Utah

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — One of three sons of a family from West Fir, Ore., died Saturday during a single-vehicle crash that happened when the family was traveling to Utah for Christmas, the Utah Highway Patrol reported.

Cage Patterson, 19, from Westfir, died after his family’s 2004 Dodge Durango went out of control, rolled and crashed into a concrete barrier, Trooper Jared Cornia of the Utah Highway Patrol said in a news release Sunday.

Patterson was traveling south on Interstate 215 West with his mother, father, and two brothers to Cottonwood Heights when his mother, who was driving, fell asleep at the wheel shortly after 8 a.m., Cornia said.

“The driver over-corrected, and the vehicle went off the right side of the road and … rolled into the (concrete) sound wall. The right rear of the vehicle struck the sound wall and came to rest,” Cornia.

Cage Patterson had been sitting in the right rear passenger’s seat, and he died at the crash site.

Neither speed, impairment nor weather appeared to be factors in the crash, and everyone in the vehicle had been wearing seat belts, Cornia said.

The other members of the family were taken to Inter Mountain Medical Center in Murray for the treatment of minor injuries.

The family was traveling to Cottonwood Heights to spend the holiday with relatives.

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BYU ends three-game losing streak to rival Utah with 77-65 Cougars victory

PROVO — Elijah Bryant was the catalyst as BYU ended a three-game losing streak to Utah, as the Cougars beat the Utes 77-65 Saturday night at the Marriott Center.

Bryant had 29 points, nine rebounds and four assists to lead the Cougars (9-2), while Yoeli Childs had 15 points and five rebounds. Childs was carried off the court with an injury with 15:30 to play, though he returned and was clearly in distress down the stretch before being helped off the court by teammates at the under-four timeout.

The Cougars shot 50 percent from 3-point range (10 of 20), while the Utes (7-3) shot 5 of 22 from beyond the arc.

Gabe Bealer led four Utes in double figures with 13 points, while Tyler Rawson had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

BYU had the edge in bench points, outscoring the Utes 22-11. Payton Dastrup had eight points, hitting 3 of 4 shots, including two 3-pointers.

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Trump plan on Utah monuments draws 5,000 protesters

Thousands rallied outside Utah’s Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, protesting President Donald Trump’s expected plan to shrink two national monuments in one of America’s most scenic states.

The Utah Highway Patrol estimated the crowd to be about 5,000 people, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Trump will travel to Utah on Monday to help sell the idea of cutting the size of Bears Ears and Grande Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

But the plan faces opposition from environmentalists and tribal leaders, who have decried it as illegal and an affront to Native Americans.

Attorney general for the Navajo Nation, Ethel Branch, said Trump should visit the monuments before making a decision on them.

“I want him to visit Bears Ears before he takes any action,” Branch said.

Trump plans to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by nearly 85 percent and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost half.

The plan would cut the total amount of land in the state’s red rock country protected by monument status from more than 3.2 million acres to about 1.2 million acres, the Washington Post reported.

Trump has reportedly told U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and other Utah officials that he will follow the recommendations of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke regarding the monuments.

Bears Ears was designated a national monument in 2016 by President Barack Obama. Staircase-Escalante was designated in 1996 by President Bill Clinton.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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‘They’ve threatened your hearts’: Trump shrinks two national monuments in Utah

President Trump displays an executive order after announcing big cuts to Utah’s sprawling wilderness national monuments, at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Dec. 4, 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

President Trump flew to Utah Monday to announce that he is cutting some two million acres from two national monuments in the state to make way for oil drilling, mining, and other development.

Trump signed two presidential proclamations during his appearance, one removing protection from about 85 percent Bears Ears National Monument, which covers 1.3 million acres and was created by Barack Obama in late 2016. Grand Staircase Escalante, which covers 1.9 million acres and was created by President Bill Clinton in 1996, will be cut by roughly half.

“With the action I’m taking today, we will not only give back your voice over the use of this land; we will also restore your access and your enjoyment,” Trump said during a speech in Salt Lake City. “Public lands will once again be for public use. Because we know that people who are free to use their land and enjoy their land are the people most determined to conserve their land.”

In a moment reminiscent of Trump’s campaign rallies, the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” blasted through the sound system after he signed the proclamations.

The Upper Gulch section of the Escalante Canyons within Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument features sheer sandstone walls, broken occasionally by tributary canyons. (Photo: AP/Douglas C. Pizac, File)

The Republican president touted the decision as a victory for state’s rights and economic development. He has accused his predecessors of undermining the oil and gas industry by blocking off unnecessarily large swathes of land. But critics say the move shows a lack of concern for combating climate change, protecting the environment and preserving America’s natural beauty for future generations. Indian tribes say the Bears Ears land includes sites of religious and archaeological importance.

Trump argued that residents of Utah know how to take care of their land far better than bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. He said Americans should put their national treasures to “great and wonderful use.”

“Your timeless bond with the outdoors should not be replaced with the whims of regulators thousands and thousands of miles away,” he said. “They don’t know your land and truly they don’t care for your land like you do.”

Introducing Trump, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said that he had been blindsided by Obama’s national monument designation of Bears Ears: “So I asked for [Trump’s] help in fixing this disaster. Without hesitation, he looked at me square in the eye and said, ‘We’ll fix it.’ For the next several months, I worked closely with the president and the White House on a plan to reign in the federal overreach at Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase.”

Arch Canyon in Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. On Dec. 4, President Trump signed legislation to shrink Bears Ears National Monument as well as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)

Native American communities were outraged by the announcement because several tribes consider Bears Ears sacred. The Hopi, Navajo, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, and Zuni tribal governments have already organized to save Bears Ears — arguing that “at the very least” Trump should have consulted with their tribes.

Natalie Landreth, an attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, said in a statement that the core issue surrounding Bears Ears is tribal sovereignty and self-determination.

“The Five Tribes that advocated tirelessly to create this monument did so to protect their ancient and modern cultural and spiritual importance,” Landreth said. “The fact that it is being revoked without any consultation, or even concern, for the Tribes is offensive.”

Anticipating this controversy, Trump expressed gratitude to members of the local Navajo community who attended his speech: “Really appreciate it. We are profoundly honored by your presence here today.”

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rides a horse in the new Bears Ears National Monument near Blanding, Utah, this past May. (Scott G Winterton/The Deseret News via AP)

National monuments protect public land of historic, scenic or environmental significance from certain kinds of development. Congress establishes national parks, but the president can designate national monuments under the Antiquities Act, which was signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican and ardent environmentalist, in 1906.

“These abuses of the Antiquities Act have not just threatened your local economies; they’re threatened your very way of life. They’ve threatened your hearts,” Trump told the crowd. He asserted that a national monument designation prevents local communities from hunting or fishing or grazing livestock on the land. But the U.S. Forest Service says that hunting, fishing and grazing is already permitted throughout most of the monument area.

Back in April, Trump ordered the Interior Department to review the 27 national monuments designated by previous presidents to see which ones he could overturn or reduce. A key item on Trump’s agenda is reversing any steps taken by Obama to protect the environment.

“As many of you know, past administrations have severely abused the purpose and spirit and intent of a century-old law,” Trump said.

The “Moonhouse” in McLoyd Canyon is part of Bears Ears National Monument, near Blanding, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Before the announcement, Rhea Suh, the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, condemned the Trump’s plans as “unprecedented” and “illegal.” She said presidents use the Antiquities Act to create national monuments so that special lands and waters can be protected for future Americans.

“This president thinks he can use it to destroy them, grabbing the iconic landscapes and marine areas all Americans own, and handing them over to polluters and private interests. He does not have that authority. We will stand up for the millions of people who’ve asked the Trump administration to preserve — and not rip apart — our national monuments,” Suh said. “What’s next, President Trump — the Grand Canyon? See you in court.”

Similarly, Gene Karpinski, the the president of the League of Conservation Voters, condemned Trump’s actions as the biggest attack on parks and public lands in U.S. history. He said in a statement that the administration is going beyond its legal authority, ignoring public outcry over archaeological treasures and undoing the hard work of Native American groups to protect their sacred sites.

“By opening up these national monuments to oil, gas and coal speculators, the Trump administration is proving once again that they only care about padding the pockets of their polluter allies,” Karpinski said. “An attack on one national park or monument is an attack on them all, threatening our outdoor recreation economy and undermining our nation’s commitment to protecting our natural heritage for future generations.”

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Trump expected to announce decision to shrink two national monuments in Utah

President Donald Trump is expected to announce that he will shrink two national monuments in Utah on Monday, his final decision as a result of a federal review of monuments that began earlier this year.

Trump has been considering whether to reduce the size of several national monuments as part of a review started earlier this year. He is expected to announce his decision to change the boundaries of two monuments in Utah, Bears Ears National Monument and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

SLIDESHOW: See the national monuments under review by Trump’s executive order

Trump is expected to announce that Bears Ears will be reduced to around 180,000 acres from 1.35 million and that Grand Escalante, which is about 1.9 million acres, could be trimmed by half, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The decision about Bears Ears is especially controversial because it was designated specifically because of its sacred meaning to Native American tribes in the area, including the Navajo and Hopi Nations.

The monument is also unique because a commission of representatives from five tribes advocated for its creation and are charged with advising the government on how to manage the land. Officials in Utah have said President Obama abused his power by designating so much land as part of a national monument against their wishes and even said the monument hurts the local Uranium mining industry in a comment posted on the review by a Utah legislature commission.

Zinke said he did believe some areas of Bears Ears should be protected and defended the decision to shrink the monument’s borders on a call with reporters shortly after he sent his recommendations to the president.

"If you look at the Bear Ears as a whole," he said on the call."There is a lot more drop-dead gorgeous land there is historic landmarks, historic structures and other objects"

Zinke also said on that call that the specifics of how the borders will be changed will be decided in a process with local leaders to make sure all archaeological sites were protected while opening up as much land as possible but the administration has not confirmed any details..

But local leaders say the monument should not be changed at all and that, even though Zinke met with Native American groups during a visit to Utah, they were not given as much consideration as elected officials who want to shrink the monument. A nonprofit that works to protect culturally significant public lands called Utah Dine Bikeyah held protests during Zinke’s visit.

"Bears Ears holds our prayers, medicine, and sacred grounds. Bears Ears National Monument honors Native Americans and provides a path for healing. President Trump should leave it alone and respect our people,” UDB Board Member Jonah Yellowman said in a statement after Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch announced the upcoming changes to the monument.

— Utah Diné Bikéyah (@UtahDineBikeyah) May 7, 2017

The decision to shrink the monument will be the second time in recent weeks that Native American groups have been unhappy with the president. In an event honoring Navajo code talkers the president used his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, "Pocahontas," which many groups said is offensive to Native Americans.

. The president called for the review of 27 monuments designated under the Antiquities Act in an executive order signed in April. Zinke visited several of the monuments, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase, before sending his recommendations to Trump in May.

The review included more than 2.8 million public comments.

When the order was signed, Trump criticized monuments designated under the Obama administration as an overreach of executive power, calling them a "federal land grab."

Monday’s announcement is expected to face almost immediate legal challenges from environmental groups and groups that advocate for protecting public lands who say that the Antiquities Act does not give the president the authority to eliminate national monuments once they’ve been created.

The Antiquities Act was enacted in 1906 and grants presidents the power to declare land a federal monument but does not specifically say that a president can eliminate a national monument.

The Congressional Research Service wrote a report on this issue in 2016 that found that while the Antiquities Act doesn’t specifically grant the president the power to shrink or eliminate monuments it does say that monument size "shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected," which could be used to justify making the monument smaller.

A draft of Zinke’s recommendations published by the Washington Post includes suggestions to change eight additional monuments but it’s unclear if Trump will make announcement about those on Monday. The draft also shows that Zinke recommended the president create four new national monuments, including an area sacred to the Blackfeet Nation in his home state of Montana, the Medgar Evers home in Jackson, Mississippi, and a Union Army supply depot site in Kentucky.

President Trump will travel to Utah on Monday. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that he is not expected to visit either of the monuments, but is expected to meet with leaders from the Mormon Church.

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Utah attorney general’s office says panelist who writes for Trib had conflict, fights release of secret opinion on recent election

State attorneys file appeal to keep record out of the public view.

( Tribune file photo) Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, right, announces Sean Reyes as Utah’s new Attorney General, December 23, 2013.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes’ office is continuing its fight against public disclosure of a legal opinion on this year’s special congressional election — accusing the State Records Committee of an “improper” conflict of interest.

The office, in an appeal to 3rd District Court, asks a judge to overturn a State Records Committee order to turn over the opinion to The Salt Lake Tribune, which has sought the document since June under Utah’s open-records laws.

“The committee’s decision is improper because its author is an employee of The Salt Lake Tribune who resolved the dispute in favor of her co-employee at The Salt Lake Tribune and their mutual employer,” the attorney general’s office argued. “The decision-maker’s financial relationship with the [newspaper] in whose favor she ruled imbues the decision with the appearance of bias.”

“The attorney’s general’s objection about Richardson’s participation is belated and suspect,” said Tribune attorney Michael O’Brien. “The A.G.’s office was represented at the committee hearing by an assistant A.G. who did not object to Richardson’s participation. The committee was advised by another assistant A.G., who also did not object.”

Richardson noted the order was actually written by Assistant Attorney General Paul Tonks, who represents the committee. She said she would not have recused herself if she had it to do over again, saying “there’s no question in my mind that the decision would have been exactly the same whether I was there that day or not.”

“I really don’t see it as a big conflict,” said Richardson, who was appointed by Gov. Gary Herbert as a public representative on the committee. “They put me on that committee because I have strong opinions about transparency.”

Even as it filed its appeal, the attorney general’s office held out the prospect that Utahns ultimately will get to see the legal opinion on whether the governor legally set rules for the special election that resulted in Rep. John Curtis being seated in the U.S. House.

“We believe the public should see this at some point,” office spokesman Dan Burton said. “We need to cross our t’s and dot our i’s with our client.”

“Once the governor has waived [attorney-client] privilege on the matter, then we don’t have any problem releasing [it], and we think the public should see it at that point,” Burton said. “I don’t know how close the governor is to doing that.”

Gov. Gary Herbert’s office has been in discussions with legislative leaders about releasing the legal opinion. That attorney general’s opinion had been requested by the Legislature in May, soon after Herbert and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox set rules and timelines for the special election to fill the seat being vacated by then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

The opinion was drafted and was about to be delivered to the Legislature — which believes the governor overstepped his authority — when the executive raised objections about attorney-client privilege and conflicts of interest.

Herbert points to the Utah Constitution’s mandate that the attorney general provide legal advice to the governor and other executive officers. But Utah statute also requires that the attorney general “shall” provide legal opinions requested by the Legislature.

Negotiations have been underway between the governor’s office and legislative leaders about the document. Herbert spokesman Paul Edwards said he could not provide any time frame for an agreement.

“We think it’s very important to preserve and maintain the appropriate separation of powers and we see this as a very fundamental issue,” said Edwards. The governor doesn’t want a future Legislature to be able to use an attorney general’s legal opinion as a “tactical tool when there are the normal kind of political disputes.”

“We don’t think [the request for a legal opinion on the congressional election] was done in a nefarious way to conflict someone out,” he said. “[But] we want to avoid anything like that in the future.”

The State Records Committee, made up of a mix of government and private representatives, ruled unanimously Oct. 12 that the public interests in the attorney general’s special-election legal opinion outweighed the privacy interests.

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