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Suspect in grisly murder may

finally be headed to trial

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

8-23-2018

 

PROVO —The suspect in the grisly murder of a Sanpete man two years ago, a case with strong drug and gang overtones, may be headed for trial.

Raul Vidrio

Raul Vidrio, 21, of Mt. Pleasant, is accused of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and abuse or desecration of a dead human body, a third-degree felony.

The victim was Wesley Dee Nay, 22, of Mt. Pleasant. His family has been longtime residents of Sanpete County.

The state is not seeking the death penalty, but Vidrio could face life in prison if convicted. Vidrio, who made his initial appearance on Nov. 21, 2016, is scheduled to appear in 4th District Court on Nov. 15 at 1:30 p.m. for purposes of setting a trial date.

“At the next hearing, if everything goes as scheduled, we will schedule a trial date,” said David Sturgill, the deputy county attorney assigned to the case. Sturgill said no plea negotiations have taken place since the defendant rejected a plea offer from the prosecution.

“Right now, the defense team is working through the discovery, reaching out to witnesses, and determining if any expert witnesses will be needed in preparation for trial. The state is ready for trial now,” Sturgill said.

According to police investigative documents, Nay got on the wrong side of Vidrio, who was involved with a gang centered on the Wasatch Front. It’s not clear whether the dispute was over drugs or something else.

One day Vidrio went to the home of another person in Mt. Pleasant, asked to borrow a chain saw, and asked the person, “Have you ever seen a (dead) body?”

Apparently, Vidrio took Nay to an isolated location in hills north of Indianola, just over the Utah County line. Officers later found images on Vidrio’s cell phone that a

Wesley Dee Nay

ppeared to show Nay being forced to dig his own grave. Then Vidrio apparently stabbed Nay to death and burned his body.

After receiving tips from hunters in October 2016, a Sanpete County deputy found the dirt scarp where the grave had been dug, and after determining the murder site was in Utah County, called in Utah County officers.

Vidrio was arrested after a knife found in his possession tested positive for Nay’s DNA. The cell phone containing the images of what appeared to be the grave digging as well as text messages that seemed to refer to the murder was also taken as evidence.