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October 21, 2021

Police arrest third person in beating death of Magna man

Police arrested Easton Jorge Esparsa, 18, of Salt Lake City on Thursday in connection with the death of Fred Valdamar Ortiz, 41, of Magna, on Monday. (Unified Police Department )

MAGNA — The third of three people wanted in connection with the beating death of man in Magna over the weekend was arrested Thursday.

Unified police announced that Easton Jorge Esparsa, 18, of Salt Lake City, had been taken into custody. Details of his arrest were not immediately available. Esparsa was wanted in connection with the death of Fred Valdamar Ortiz, 41, of Magna, on Monday.

Esparsa is the third person who investigators believe used wooden blocks and a pole to assault Ortiz, possibly in retaliation for an alleged domestic violence incident. Earlier this week, Xandre Skye Daniel Hill, 18, and Osyeanna Maria Martinez, 19, were arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of murder.

“Detectives were told the suspects and the victim are known to each other,” according to a police affidavit.

The incident began Monday when Hill and another person went to a dog breeder’s home in Magna. The dog breeder, who was Ortiz’s wife, had a noticeable black eye, according to the affidavit, and the group was told that she had been a victim of domestic violence two days earlier. Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler said no police report involving domestic violence was filed. The affidavit also notes that Ortiz’s stepdaughter and mother said they were afraid to report an assault.

While they were still at the house, Ortiz was spotted riding a scooter. That’s when police say the others got into their cars and followed Ortiz to confront him.

Martinez followed Ortiz to a grocery store parking lot near 3600 South and 8000 West and then hit him with her car, knocking him off the scooter, according to the affidavit. Hill, Martinez and Esparsa are accused of then running after Ortiz and beating him after catching up to him. One witness observed Esparsa hitting Ortiz with a pole while he was on the ground, the affidavit says.

Surveillance video recovered by police shows Martinez throwing two boards at Ortiz’s head, according to the affidavit, before punching and kicking him. Police say Hill admitted to tackling and punching Ortiz.

Police and paramedics were called to the parking lot. Ortiz was transported to a local hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.

Although there were other people present, Cutler said investigators have determined they were witnesses and that Hill, Martinez and Esparsa were the only ones actively involved in the beating.

Hill, who turned 18 just 10 days prior to the incident, was a football player at Hunter High School and committed to playing football for a college in Texas in the fall.

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