CENTERVILLE, Utah, June 23, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A Bountiful man responsible for the death of a 21-year-old returned missionary who was killed after he crashed into her car while attempting to flee police has pleaded guilty to murder.
Anthony Santos Cruz, 28, also pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery for the Feb. 1 crash that killed Jazmyn Jeppson, who had just recently returned from a mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Houston, Texas.
Michelle Jennifer Vigil, 23, Cruz’s girlfriend had already pleaded to second-degree robbery last week for her role in the first carjacking committed earlier that day.
Police said the incident began at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 1 with the report of a carjacking near Mutton Hollow Road and Fairfield Street in Kaysville.
A Mazda 6 reportedly was taken by a male and female, now known as Cruz and Vigil, who left in the vehicle.
An attempt-to-locate order was put out to multiple law enforcement agencies in the area, police reported.
A Unified Police officer on his way to work stopped to assist the Mazda 6 on southbound I-15, near Lund Lane, in Centerville. Cruz told the officer he and his girlfriend had run out of gas. The officer thought the circumstances seemed suspicious and called the Davis County Dispatch, who informed the officer of the carjacking and the attempt-to-locate order.
The Unified Police officer attempted to take the two into custody, but Cruz ran to a nearby black Volkswagen sedan, and carjacked the car’s driver. The driver, a female, was able to jump from the vehicle before it sped away.
Police say Cruz then left the freeway at Parrish Lane in Centerville, where he crashed into a silver Infiniti driven by Jeppson, who died at the scene.
Cruz and Vigil were arrested, and Cruz was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The investigation was carried out by detectives from Kaysville, Centerville and Syracuse Police Departments, the State Bureau of Investigations and Davis County Attorney’s Office.
Sentencing for Cruz is scheduled for Aug. 10. Vigil’s is set for Aug. 17.