As Park City shooting victim dies, case against suspect starts
March 1, 2016
The man shot on Feb. 22 in a Park City condominium died four days later at the hospital, prompting prosecutors to amend the charges against the suspected shooter to reflect the death in the first killing in Park City in more than a decade
Jose Fernandez was 37 years old and lived in Park City. He worked at the No Name Saloon & Grill and Boneyard Saloon & Wine Dive.
He was pronounced dead at a hospital in the Salt Lake Valley, the police said, indicating the department received notification at 5:45 p.m. on Friday. He died from a gunshot wound to the head. The shooting occurred on the 1500 block of Empire Avenue.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office amended the charges against the person accused of the shooting, James Henfling, to reflect the death. The amended charges were filed Monday morning, just before Henfling appeared before a judge in 3rd District Court at Silver Summit. Henfling, who is 27 years old and from Midvale, was charged with murder, which is a first-degree felony, and discharge of a firearm with serious bodily injury, another first-degree felony. The murder count is enhanced since a dangerous weapon, a 40-caliber pistol manufactured by Glock, was used, prosecutors said.
Henfling’s appearance in 3rd District Court on Monday morning was brief. Henfling, in chains and dressed in a yellow and white striped prison jumpsuit emblazoned with the words "Summit County Jail" on the back, did not speak as Judge Paige Petersen set another court date on March 28.
The authorities are holding Henfling at the Summit County Jail. Bail is set at $250,000, cash only. Henfling has not entered a plea.
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Richard Mauro, a Salt Lake City attorney, has been retained to represent Henfling. He told reporters after the hearing he did not have extensive information about the case yet, indicating he had been hired on Sunday. He said he is "just getting started on the case" and had not yet received the police reports. He noted the presumption of innocence in the American justice system. Mauro said he has not discussed bail with the prosecution.
"We’ll just work through it," Mauro said.
In the charging document against Henfling, prosecutors claim his sister witnessed the shooting. Henfling’s girlfriend told investigators her boyfriend shot someone, prosecutors say. Henfling told investigators the shooting was intentional, according to the charging document.
Matt Bates, who is a Summit County prosecutor assigned to the case, has said the people gathered socially before the shooting. Henfling and Fernandez were engaged in a fistfight inside the apartment when the shot was fired. He has said both of them are believed to have been drinking alcohol at the time.
Fernandez was a well-known figure at the two establishments where he worked. The owner of the two places has said he had been an employee for nearly nine years. He was a full-time bartender and a part-time manager, Jesse Shetler, who is the owner of No Name Saloon & Grill and Boneyard Saloon & Wine Dive, has said. There has been an outpouring of support for Fernandez’s loved ones.
The death was the first killing inside Park City since the spring of 2003. In that case, a man was shot and killed at the Parkside Apartments on Kearns Boulevard after a night of partying, roughhousing and drug use.
The murder count carries a sentence of 16 years to life in state prison upon conviction while the other charge is punishable by a prison sentence of five years to life if he is convicted.