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Court rejects innocence claim in Ogden wedding party murders

Posted at 6:44 AM, Dec 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-22 22:12:06-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals has rejected a claim of innocence by an Ogden man convicted of killing two people at a wedding reception.

Riqo Perea (image via Utah Attorney General’s Office)

In a ruling published late Friday, the state appeals court upheld Riqo Perea’s convictions in the murders of Sabrina Prieto and Resendo Nevarez. Perea, a member of an Ogden gang, opened fire on a wedding reception at a rival gang member’s home in 2007, killing Prieto and Nevarez and wounding two others.

The Utah Supreme Court previously upheld Perea’s convictions. He later filed a factual innocence claim after a woman said she didn’t see who fired the gun and felt “the police were pressuring [her] to testify in a certain way.”

But in Friday’s ruling, the Utah Court of Appeals said other evidence still convicted Perea.

“This does not contradict the State’s evidence presented at trial that Perea was the one who fired the shots from the vehicle, including Perea’s own confession and the testimony of other witnesses who were in the vehicle that Perea fired the gun from the vehicle,” Judge Gregory Orme wrote.

Perea is serving a life sentence for the killings.

Read the Utah Court of Appeals ruling here (refresh the page if it doesn’t immediately load):