Man arrested after assault victim dies from injuries

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Posted at 7:40 PM, May 29, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — A man was arrested after a person who he allegedly punched earlier this month in Salt Lake City died from his injuries.

Juan Ayala, 46, faces a third-degree felony charge of criminal homicide by assault.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Ayala and the victim got in an argument on May 17 at a homeless camp in the Rio Grande area. Police say during the argument, Ayala punched the other man in the face, knocking him out.

The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital for emergency care. He died four days later on May 21.

The Medical Examiner determined the cause of death as homicide due to blunt force injury to the head.

Police located Ayala Friday evening. In an interview post-Miranda warning, he admitted to punching the man but claimed it was self-defense.

"Ayala claimed he struck the victim in self-defense due to possible threats the victim was making toward him, and Ayala did not intend for the victim to die," the arrest report states.

He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail early Saturday morning.