Three arrests in connection with Sapphire Drive homicide in Sandy

May 23, 2020, 11:14 AM | Updated: 1:24 pm
Three arrests in connection with Sapphire Drive homicide in Sandy...

SANDY UTAH — Three arrests have been made Saturday that are in connection with the Sapphire Drive homicide that happened on Friday, May 22. 

The homicide happened on Friday, May 22 near Sapphire Drive in Sandy where the suspects were caught on multiple doorbell cameras fleeing the scene in a green Ford Explorer with gold trim. 

Reportedly, the green Ford Explorer involved in the Saphhire Drive homicide was seized and the arrest was made following tips from the public and diligent detective work from the Sandy Police Department. 

The suspects in the Saphhire Drive homicide were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. James Edward Smith and Emmanuel Augustus Espinoza were booked on suspicions of criminal homicide and obstruction of justice. Dina Marie Smith was booked with obstruction of justice only. 


Dina Marie Smith
Photo:Salt Lake Co Sheriff’s Office

James Edward Smith
Photo:Salt Lake Co Sheriff’s Office

Emmanuel Augustus Espinoza Photo:Salt Lake Co Sheriff’s Office


In the affidavit provided by the Salt Lake County 3rd District Court, suspect James Smith initially denied knowing anything about the incident didn’t admit to anyone else being in the vehicle with him but later confirmed that his friend Gemine Essay was the shooter. 

He stated that he had been having issues with the victim. He said he picked up Essay from his house and then drove to the victim’s residence.

He claimed that the victim came outside as they drove past his home and Essay fired a gun from the back seat. It is reported that several rounds impacted the home and one round struck the victim. 

After returning Essay to his house Smith returned to the Discovery Inn located in Midvale where he had been staying with his mother.


This is a developing story. 


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Three arrests in connection with Sapphire Drive homicide in Sandy