Acquaintance of West Valley City stabbing victim charged with murder

Beni Vai Hautau (inset) has been arrested in the murder of acquaintance Treyvon Stephens outside a West Valley City apartment building. Photos: Salt Lake County; Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCSanner

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Nov. 6, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A 19-year old man arrested last month in connection with the stabbing death of acquaintance Treyvon Stephens in West Valley City has now been charged with murder.

Beni Vai Hautau was charged Wednesday with one count of murder, a first-degree felony; and one count of theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony.

The murder charges was related to the death of Stephens, also 19, on Oct. 24. The theft charge was related to the Oct. 25 discovery that a car connected to the shooting was stolen, and was found to be in Hautau’s possession.

According to a probable cause statement filed by an officer of the West Valley City Police Department, emergency personnel were called to an apartment near 4000 S. Redwood Road on Oct. 24.

First responders found Stephens on the floor. Another male was attempting to provide medical assistance, and told police that Stephens had said “Ben stabbed me.”

A woman on scene said Stephens had been at her apartment earlier that night with a man she knew only as “Polynesian Ben” or “Little Ben.”

“The two men began arguing, and (the woman) told them to leave,” the probable cause statement says. “Not long after they left, Stephens returned and began pounding on (her) door. (She) opened the door and let Stephens back in.

“Stephens showed them where he had been stabbed, then fell to the floor.”

Two other witnesses from outside were interviewed told police they were walking through the parking lot, when they saw two men arguing.

“One of the males appeared to shove the other, who stumbled back and grabbed (one of the witness’) arm,” the statement says.

“The man (Stephens) who grabbed (the witness’ arm) said he had just been stabbed, and lifted up his shirt, revealing blood running down his chest. The other man (the assailant) climbed into a light-colored sedan and sped away.”

Another witness who had been outside told police he saw a car speeding from the scene, and described it as “an 11th generation Toyota Corolla, white or silver in color.”

A second woman who had been in the apartment where the men argued and when Stephens returned bleeding said the fight was “over drugs.” She also picked Hautau from a photo lineup, and described his clothing in detail.

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When Hautau was found the next day, he was wearing a hoodie similar to the one described. He was at the wheel of the car, which was confirmed to be stolen. Belongings of the owner were located inside the car.

Police had originally announced that two men were believed to have been involved in the attack on Stephens. The probable cause statement makes no mention of an additional suspect.

A GoFundMe page stating money would be used to pay Stephens’ funeral costs can be viewed by clicking here.

Treyvon Stephens. Photo: GoFundMe

Earlier charges against Hautau

Hautau faces more charges than those mentioned above.

.● In a case based on a June 16, 2019, incident, Hautau was charged on suspicion of  felony discharge of a firearm with injury, a second-degree felony; and with purchase, transfer, possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person, a second-degree felony. The incident happened during an altercation near 1000 South and Redwood Road, and a victim was shot in the wrist. For a news story on that case, click here.

● On April 28 of this year, he was arrested on suspicion of two counts of possession of a controlled substance, for cocaine and heroin, a class A misdemeanor. At the time of his April arrest, officers noted he had “multiple felony warrants for his arrest.”

● In a case based on an Oct. 16, 2018, incident, which was the day after Hautau’s 18th birthday, he pleaded guilty to assault by a prisoner, a third-degree felony, in exchange for a second, identical charge being dismissed.

● In a case based on a Sept. 5, 2018, incident — at which time Hautau, who was a minor but was charged as an adult — he pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony amended to be a second-degree felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony, in exchange for a firearm discharge charge being dismissed.

Juvenile records are not made available unless the suspect is charged as an adult.

Gephardt Daily will have additional information on this case as it breaks.

Beni Vai Hautau. Photo: Salt Lake County

1 COMMENT

  1. His eyes are pure evil! I can’t believe how much he has been in trouble with the law in the past and still not locked up until he actually killed someone? Our justice system needs to get it together soon!

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