CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Murray woman arrested for reportedly lying to police about deadly shooting

Oct 15, 2021, 6:42 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:21 am
(Stock photo)...
(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

MURRAY, Utah — A Murray woman is booked into the Salt Lake County Jail as police say she lied to them multiple times about her boyfriend’s murder.  Investigators say she kept lying even after they showed her evidence proving her statements were false.

Shooting at Murray home

Police were called to a shooting at a Murray home on Sept. 29, where they found Carlos Jhovany Huerta Garcia in the front room with a gunshot wound.  Garcia reportedly died shortly after.  The probable cause statement says his girlfriend, Vanessa Arnold, was home at the time of the shooting.

According to the PC statement, Arnold was interviewed by investigators twice. And in both cases, she told them she and Garcia were in their upstairs bedroom until he went downstairs and was shot by “an unknown suspect.”

However, investigators say surveillance video shows Arnold had been going back and forth between the house and a camper trailer with a man that was later identified as Arnold’s son.  The statement also says her son was seen leaving the house within seconds of the shooting.

It reads, “Vanessa has been interviewed two more separate times since obtaining this footage and continues to deny [her son] was ever present or even that she was outside engaged in any sort of activity possibly related to the homicide.”

Murray woman continued to lie

Investigators say Arnold continued to lie even after they showed her the video.

“Vanessa knowingly gave wrong information about who else was at the residence. First claiming the male who drove the vehicle was named Ismael. And later called the person Israel in a separate interview, not keeping her story straight,” according to the statement.

Obstruction of justice

Arnold was booked for obstruction of justice, and investigators believe she is still in contact with her son.

Former prosecutor Greg Skordas, who is not connected to this case, says obstruction of justice charges don’t always reach the courts. However, police can recommend these charges when someone really impedes their investigation.

“They can also be brought for people that really just went so far out of their way to make the investigation so difficult that they allowed for the police to waste time,” Skordas said.  “They’ll often give an individual an out, and say, ‘Look, if you tell us the truth, we’ll move on.”

Usually, obstruction is a misdemeanor. But Skordas says it can be elevated to a felony if the underlying crime is a serious offense.

He said, “If the police are investigating a homicide, for example, and the individual has obstructed their investigation, that’s much more serious than if the police are investigating a simple drug possession, or something like that.”

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