OGDEN, Utah, July 30, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A North Ogden man found guilty of murdering a homeless man last summer has learned his sentence for the crime.
Dalton James Aiken, 28, will spend 16 years to life in prison for the death of Brian Racine, 28, who police say was sleeping in a homeless camp when he was shot in the head in the early hours of Aug. 16, 2018.
In June, Aiken was found guilty of murder, a first-degree felony; and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony. The fact that a dangerous weapon was used in the commission of the crime added a year to the sentence.
Cory Fitzwater, 36, is also charged with Racine’s murder. His trial is scheduled to start on Nov. 6. Police said early on that Fitzwater was the suspected shooter.
Racine was from California, but had been staying in the Ogden homeless camp for about a month.
Roughly an hour before Racine’s body was discovered, Ogden police were in the area investigating a shots-fired call. Police stopped Fitzwater and Aiken in traffic at about 3 a.m. 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.
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.