Kidnapping suspect’s case could go to trial
A man accused of kidnapping an 11-year-old male child on Christmas night appeared again in court this week.
Gustavo Vasquez-Nava, 19, appeared in Summit County’s Third District Court on Monday. Vasquez-Nava is charged with child kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and failure to stop at law enforcement officers’ commands.
Child kidnapping and aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony, while failure to stop at a law enforcement officers’ command is a class A misdemeanor. Child kidnapping is punishable by a mandatory prison sentence of 15 years to life in prison.
Vasquez-Nava’s case was continued and his next hearing is set for March 23, at 9 a.m., in the Third District Court. He previously entered a not-guilty plea.
According to Summit County Prosecutor Matt Bates, if a plea agreement is not reached with the suspect, the case will "probably go to trial."
"There is no other purpose for this hearing but to attempt to reach an agreement and settle the case," Bates said. "We are still negotiating to see if they would be willing to enter a guilty plea on some of the charges."
Vasquez-Nava was arrested with Ruben Anthony Morales, 28, on Friday, Dec. 26 after leading Park City police officers on a short foot chase.
Park City police officers stopped a green Isuzu Rodeo parked in an alleyway near the Top Stop Convenience Store, 2010 Park Avenue, in Park City, after a vehicle matching the SUV’s description was reported as stolen in connection with an 11-year-old male child’s kidnapping.
The child, who had been reported missing from the Elk Meadows apartment complex in the Snyderville Basin at approximately 12:30 a.m. Christmas night, was located in the backseat of the stolen vehicle.
The child was reportedly approached by the suspects in the parking lot of the apartment complex when they demanded money from him. Vasquez-Nava and Morales then grabbed the boy by the nape of his neck and threw him in the vehicle, with his hood pulled over his eyes.
The two suspects continued to drive around the area until eventually being stopped by Park City police officers, who determined their vehicle matched the stolen SUV’s description.
The suspects are each being held on $100,000 bonds in the Summit County Jail.
Morales’ next court appearance is March 2, at 9 a.m., in the Third District Court.
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