OGDEN, Utah, June 12, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A North Ogden man has been found guilty in the the murder of a homeless man in Ogden.
A jury came back on Wednesday afternoon with two guilty verdicts for 28-year-old Dalton James Aiken: murder, a first-degree felony; and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony.
A second man, Cory Michael Fitzwater, is facing the same charges, plus two charges of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. Fitzwater’s trial is set for Nov. 6 of this year. Police said early on that he was the suspected shooter.
Both men are charged in the Aug. 16, 2018, death of Brian Racine, 28, who was from California, but had lived in an Ogden homeless camp for about a month.
Aiken told Ogden police that he and Fitzwater “… went to the 21st Street Pond area to find and harass homeless people,” his probable cause statement says.
Fitzwater and Aiken were stopped in traffic at about 3 a.m. Aug. 16 by Ogden Police officials investigating a shots-fired call. Aiken was driving and Fitzwater was a passenger in the pickup truck.
Officers found a .45 caliber handgun on the floor of the vehicle, and took the men in for questioning because drugs also were found. Fitzwater admitted the two had been in the area of the shots-fired call, but said he didn’t see anyone and didn’t hear a gunshot.
At about 4 a.m., officers were called to a transient camp in the area of 500 West and 21st Street, responding to a report of a suspicious death. Camp occupants said Racine had been left alone at the camp at about 2 a.m., and that was when he was last seen alive.
Officers found a .45 caliber casing, which matched the caliber of gun seized from Aiken and Fitzwater during the traffic stop.
Aiken, interviewed later, admitted to witnessing Fitzwater shoot the victim in the head with the gun found during the traffic stop.