Christopher S. Pineo | Navajo Times
A makeshift memorial of notes, flowers and ribbons are outside the Navajo County Superior Court after an arraignment on Tuesday.
Published July 15, 2016
HOLLBROOK, ARIZONA – The suspect in a double fatal shooting outside the Navajo Superior Courthouse last month has pleaded not guilty.
According to the Associated Press, Salomon Diaz, 47, of Snowflake, Arizona, was arraigned Tuesday on two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Ashley Utley, 25, and Sherry Quintero-Davenport, 45, on June 28. The shooting injured Angela Chambers, 68, as well.
Utley had gained custody of her two children from Diaz, their grandfather, just before the shooting happened as the parties left the court.
Despite the public nature of the crime in question — according to news reports, the shooting occurred in front of multiple bystanders — Quintero-Davenport’s husband, Brian Davenport, said he expected the suspect to plead not guilty.
“That’s just how the process usually works. They plead not guilty at the beginning and then they wait to go to trial,” Davenport said.
He said he didn’t have any particular experience beyond following such events and trials in the news that gave him that expectation.
He recalled his emotions as the arraignment unfolded.
“A lot of anger, a lot of anger, because this didn’t need to happen,” he said.
The AP reported that Diaz is held on a $2 million bond with a release hearing scheduled next month.
“It’s going to continue on, and in the end of all this, the truth will come out,” Davenport said.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.