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Police ‘just as surprised as anyone’ after suspect in attempted murder released from jail

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Posted at 9:51 PM, Oct 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-31 09:37:39-04

WEST VALLEY CITY -- A man originally arrested by West Valley City police in connection with an attempted murder has been released, and police aren't sure why.

"I would say we are just as surprised as anyone else that this case wasn't charged the first time around, but we'll do everything we can to get him back into jail," Roxeanne Vainuku, who is West Valley City Public Information Officer.

West Valley City is referring to 20-year-old Raymond Marquina. On Oct. 22, Marquina was arrested for attempted murder and felony discharge of a firearm. West Valley City Police said he is the main suspect in the shooting of a 72-year-old man outside his West Valley City home on September 27.

According to police, the victim, Robert Warren, answered the door and was shot in the face multiple times. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

"We worked very closely with the district attorney's office throughout the entire process of making the arrest, through the search warrants, through the arrest process, all of that, so we are at a loss to explain as to why this person wasn't charged," Vainuku said.

Along with Marquina, police also arrested Michael Flores, Leann Velasquez and Ricardo Smith. Flores has returned to prison on a parole violation, while Velasquez and Smith have been charged in this case. However, police said it was Marquina who fired the gun.

"This is about making sure you have sufficient evidence to file charges," said Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. "We simply can't make it up."

According to Gill, the time allowed to hold the suspect had expired, and they had to let him go. He can still be arrested and charged at any time.

"This is an open investigation, these are not issues that have been put to bed at this stage," Gill said. "We did not have sufficient evidence, there was some evidentiary issues so we are just making decisions consistent with that."

West Valley City Police Department officials said they will continue to work with the district attorney's office until they get what they need.

"We're working with some of the evidence that we had, and we are trying to establish a different set of criteria as requested by the district attorney's office to get him back into jail and off the streets," Vainuku said.

Officials said they will not speculate whether Marquina poses a threat or a possible flight risk.

As for Warren, he remains in the hospital in stable condition, according to West Valley City.