Utah prosecutors will pursue the death penalty against a California man accused of shooting and killing a motorist on Interstate 84 in Box Elder County in northern Utah last year.
Jonathan Llana, 46, is accused of fatally shooting Dennis Gwyther and injuring his passenger on May 22, 2019, as the two were driving in the Rattlesnake Pass area on the freeway between Tremonton and Snowville.
Llana was arrested near Burley, Idaho, after a two-day manhunt. He was charged with one count of aggravated murder, one charge of attempted aggravated murder and six counts of felony discharge of a firearm.
Llana’s case was delayed after he was declared not competent to stand trial in October 2019. But in March, he was found to be competent after receiving treatment at the Utah State Hospital.
Gwyther, 50, was a well-known LGBTQ activist in Utah. He was commuting to his job in Boise when he was killed.
The last time a person was sentenced to death in Utah was in 2008. Floyd Maestas was given the sentence after stomping a woman to death during a robbery, but he died of natural causes in 2018.
Llana’s attorney Craig Chlarson declined to comment.