One in every of six folks named as a suspect final week by Salt Lake police within the 2019 capturing loss of life of Kathryn Blaire Leavitt was arrested Wednesday after costs had been filed towards her and a warrant was issued for her arrest. (Laura Seitz, Deseret Information)
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SALT LAKE CITY — One in every of six folks named as a suspect final week by Salt Lake police within the 2019 capturing loss of life of Kathryn Blaire Leavitt was arrested Wednesday night after costs had been filed towards her and a warrant was issued for her arrest.
Lachelle Fiefia, 36, of West Jordan, is charged in third District Court docket with obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.
On July 27, 2019, police obtained a name of a door being kicked in at an house at 1211 N. Redwood Highway and a attainable housebreaking in progress. However whereas officers had been en route, they had been advised that pictures had been fired. They arrived to find that Leavitt, 27, had been shot as one other lady hid in a closet in one other room. Leavitt died from her accidents at an area hospital. An post-mortem decided that Leavitt had been shot twice.
Leavitt had invited a number of folks to the house that day “to drink and hang around.” 4 to 5 males confirmed up, in accordance with a collection of search warrant affidavits filed in 2019.
Sooner or later throughout the morning, the group had develop into too loud and a lady who was attempting to sleep in one other room requested them to calm down, in accordance with the affidavits. The roommate later advised police that “a short while later she heard somebody kicking the door in after which she heard gunshots.”
A number of folks have been on the radar of Salt Lake police murder detectives for the reason that killing, however till Wednesday nobody had been arrested or charged.
On Feb. 15, Leavitt’s mom, Marie Leavitt, made an emotional plea to the general public for somebody to return ahead with data that would assist tie the case collectively for police.
“I do know that there are folks on the market who know issues about this case. I’m going to plead with you and ask you to place your self in my footwear, in my household’s footwear. She was my solely daughter,” Marie Leavitt stated. “I implore you to do the correct factor if you realize something about this case. I ask of you, please, do the correct factor.”
On that very same day, police for the primary time named six suspects believed to both be immediately concerned in killing Blaire Leavitt or in obstructing the investigation into her loss of life: Fiefia; Katoa Pahulu, 26; Sunia Cavazos, 22; Tevita Kofutua, 37; Mapilivai Laulea 26; and Timote Fonua, 41.
Police questioned Fiefia on the day Leavitt was killed. Fiefia advised detectives at the moment that she was at Leavitt’s house that morning together with 4 or 5 different males, however that all of them left by the point the capturing occurred, in accordance with charging paperwork filed Wednesday.
On Feb. 27, 2020, police once more questioned Fiefia, this time confronting her with allegations that she drove Laulea and Pauulu to California on July 28, the costs state. Fiefia allegedly advised detectives at the moment that when she discovered Leavitt had been shot, she referred to as Laulea and requested what occurred.
“Laulea was very calm and advised her he did not know what she was speaking about and that he must name her again,” in accordance with the costs. “Fiefia stated Laulea later referred to as her again and defined he had quite a bit to lose if he was caught up within the murder and requested her to drive him and Paulu to California, which she agreed to do.”
Fiefia was interviewed by police once more on Nov. 18, 2020, and so they say she admitted to driving the 2 males to the Oakland space. She stated that as they had been driving, each males made statements comparable to, “I can not imagine he did that” whereas additionally commenting on the best way Leavitt “dropped” when she was shot, the charging paperwork say.
Earlier than driving again to Salt Lake Metropolis, Fiefia acknowledged that she was advised by Laulea that Fonua had shot Leavitt in retaliation for an additional homicide, in accordance with the costs. The court docket paperwork don’t point out when or the place that alleged killing befell, solely stating it could have been gang-related. Salt Lake police haven’t stated whether or not they imagine Leavitt’s killing was in retaliation for an additional incident.
Prosecutors have requested that Fiefia be held with out bail within the Salt Lake County Jail pending trial.