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Heffelfingers sentenced in murder, robbery case

The two subjects arrested following an October 2001 high-speed chase incident in the local area have been sentenced to prison in connection with the deaths of two deer hunters in Daggett County.

Lewis Francis Heffelfinger was sentenced last Wednesday to life in prison without parole for robbing and killing two deer hunters.

The 56-year-old New Mexico man pleaded guilty to two capital felony counts of aggravated murder and two first degree felony counts of aggravated robbery for his alleged role in the Oct. 21, 2001 deaths of Brad W. Gross and Kelly J. Carter.

Daggett County Attorney Dennis Judd, Utah Chief Deputy Attorney General Kirk Torgensen and Assistant Attorneys General C.D. Horton and Polly Samuels prosecuted Lewis Heffelfinger and the co-defendant's son, Michael Heffelfinger, for the crimes.

During a criminal proceeding conducted in the capital murder and aggravated robbery case last week, Lewis Heffelfinger admitted that he and his son saw the victims sitting in a pickup truck near Flaming Gorge and decided to take the vehicle, indicated the Utah Attorney General's Office.

According to the statement of the defendant, the father and son murder suspects approached the truck and talked to the victims for a short period of time, then Lewis Heffelfinger purportedly shot and killed Gross with a .38 pistol.

The murder suspect's son and co-defendant reportedly shot and killed Carter

After the two deer hunters were dead, the co-defendants purportedly took items from the victims' pockets and fled the scene in a truck belonging to Gross.

As part of the plea bargain agreement, Lewis Heffelfinger was sentenced immediately to two consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the aggravated murder counts.

In addition, Lewis Heffelfinger was sentenced to two concurrent terms of five years to life in prison in connection with the aggravated robbery counts.

The designated incarceration periods are to run consecutively to the prison sentences Lewis Heffelfinger is presently serving for allegedly shooting at law enforcement officers in Carbon County and fleeing in the stolen truck.

The co-defendant in the murder case, Michael Heffelfinger, pleaded guilty and received similar sentences last month.

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