Men found guilty of charges in connection with death of U researcher

Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-15 00:33:22-05

OGDEN, Utah - The two remaining defendants charged in connection with the death of a University of Utah researcher at Pineview Reservoir were found guilty on all charges on Thursday evening.

Colton Raines and Cole Boyer were found guilty of reckless endangerment, obstruction of justice and failure to render aid in the August 2011 death of Esther Fujimoto. They face up to 2-1/2 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Raines, Boyer and Skyler Shepherd hit Fujimoto, who was swimming in Pineview Reservoir, with their boat, cutting her up with the propeller, then sped away without trying to help her. She died from her injuries.

Raines, Boyer and Shepherd claim that Fujimoto never asked for help and even told them she was okay, so they left the scene.

Raines and Boyer took the stand in their own defense on Thursday.

Boyer said that the boat swerved really hard to the left and he asked Raines, "What the hell happened Colton?"

Boyer says Raines replied, "I swerved to miss somebody in the water," then Boyer said, "Let's go back. We gotta go back and see if you did."

"I never heard a scream at any point. We sat down and we all looked at each other and it's, like, 'Whew,'" Boyer said.

The jury deliberated for two hours before delivering the guilty verdict.

Shepherd has already been found guilty of the same charges and was given the maximum sentence of 2-1/2 years.