Sunday, April 20, 2014

4 arrested in alleged kidnapping, murder plot over drug debt

By McKenzie Romero, Deseret News

Published: Thu, Jan. 9 10:31 p.m. MST

 Christopher Kim Leech

Christopher Kim Leech

(Salt Lake County Jail)

WEST VALLEY CITY — Four people were booked into jail for investigation of kidnapping and shooting a man found dead near Snowbasin this week.

Police Thursday identified the man as 34-year-old Cleat Aaron Knight, who they believe went missing from West Valley City around Nov. 23. Knight wasn't reported missing until Dec. 8 when family members notified South Salt Lake Police.

The search led police to Knight's body Tuesday.

Four people have been booked into Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of the plot that police say stemmed from an unsettled drug debt: Christopher Kim Leech, 35; Viliamu Seumanu, 42; Tina Maxine Soules, 41; and Theron Myore, 42.

Leech and Seumanu were each charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with murder and two counts of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies, as well as a second-degree felony count of kidnapping.

Soules and Myore were both charged with murder and two counts of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies.

According to police, the group took Knight from West Valley City, transporting him to South Salt Lake and then to the area in Weber County where the man's body was found, not far from a road that leads to Snowbasin.

Knight died of gunshot wounds, police said. The case remains under investigation.

A search of court records revealed that Knight pleaded guilty to a series of theft, burglary, forgery and drug charges dating back to 2009.

Leech's rap sheet includes convictions for aggravated assault, attempted theft, failure to stop for police, forgery and attempted forgery.

Seumanu has prior convictions of attempted theft, aggravated assault, driving with a measurable controlled substance and various drug charges. He was charged in November with forgery and theft by deception.

Soules pleaded guilty in 2003 to forgery and has prior misdemeanor convictions for assault, unlawful use of an ATM card, giving false personal information to police, shoplifting, disorderly conduct and intoxication.

Myore pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated assault in 1999, which was amended to a misdemeanor, and has previous misdemeanor convictions including simple assault and criminal mischief.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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