David Stokoe, Salt Lake City- Utah real estate agent shot dead by tenant while trying to evict him for non payment. Was legal protocol followed?
A Utah real estate agent has died after allegedly being shot dead while trying to evict non paying tenants. Notice of the man’s death came after the realtor’s body was found inside a crawl space at the contested apartment.
David Stokoe, a father of four, had gone to the Salt Lake City home Thursday after letting his renters know they needed to be out by 6 p.m., the Salt Lake Tribune reported. His body was found the next day.
One of the tenants, Manuel Velasquez, told cops he got into a fight with Stokoe, Thursday evening because the landlord kicked the door and put him into a ‘very serious’ chokehold according to court documents.
Velasquez, 31, told cops that while he was being subdued, he grabbed a handgun inside the fannypack he was wearing and shot Stokoe multiple times.
Later, Jessica Reese, who also goes by Jessica Miller, 38, and Diana Hernandez, 30, allegedly cleaned the apartment and hid Stokoe’s body.
David Stokoe: Utah realtor family insist he never would have instigated fight.
In the wake of Stokoe’s death, the realtor’s mother Diane, along with his half-brother Dean Belov have dispute Velasquez’s story — insisting the landlord would never instigate a fight- describing their loved one as a ‘family man’ and a ‘kind’ person.
Upon his arrest, Velasquez was booked in Salt Lake County Jail on multiple charges, including suspicion of murder, with Reese and Hernandez both booked on charges of obstruction of justice.
In a released statement, Saturday, Stokoe’s family said their ‘hearts are broken over the loss’.
‘This situation is tragic beyond words, but we are remembering Dave the way he deserves to be remembered, as a hero and champion,’ the statement noted.
Told younger brother, Neil Stokoe via ABC 4 News, ‘Dave was my hero growing up. I idolized Dave. Everything he did, he was a very charismatic individual and just loved people.’
Adding, ‘Dave was my hero. Dave was a warrior. Dave was a leader.’
The family have since set up a GoFundMe to help Stokoe’s widow, Nikki, and their four young children.
Not immediately clear is what legal protocol had been set in place to affect collection of unpaid rent and eviction and to what degree the realtor followed legal protocol.