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Suspect in U of U football player's murder ordered to stand trial after preliminary hearing

Posted at 3:51 PM, Feb 03, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — The man who is charged with shooting and killing University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe in 2021 had a preliminary hearing Friday, in which the judge determined that there was sufficient evidence for him to stand trial.

Buk Mawut Buk, 24, will be tried for four felony counts: 1st-degree aggravated murder, 1st-degree attempted aggravated murder, 2nd-degree possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, and 2nd-degree obstructing justice. He pleaded not guilty to all four charges.

In Friday's preliminary hearing, state prosecutors presented evidence such as crime scene photos, medical reports, videos and witnesses' testimonies.

Judge Paul B. Parker of Utah's 3rd Judicial District found that the prosecution "met its burden" to show probable cause, and he bound the case over — meaning it will go to a trial.

Lowe and a 20-year-old woman were shot outside a house party in the early morning of Sept. 26, 2021, just hours after the Utes defeated Washington State at Rice Eccles Stadium. Lowe was declared dead at the scene, while the female victim was hospitalized in critical condition with gunshot wounds to the neck and chest.

Witnesses told police they had seen Lowe arguing with a group of males outside the party before the shooting. One witness said the female victim was attempting to "deescalate the conflict between Lowe and the males," before a man, later identified as Buk, "walked across the street and began shooting at Lowe and [female victim]."

The female victim told police that Lowe had been attempting to move his vehicle, but that a group of four men would not let him. After the original round of shots were fired at her and Lowe, the woman said Buk came to "finish them off."

Buk's first pre-trial conference is scheduled for April 10.