Man sentenced in 2016 triple murder in South Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - A 21-year-old is headed to prison for a triple murder. It happened in 2016 in South Salt Lake.

The suspect Gerald Grant was charged with murder after two brothers and a third person were killed a botched drug deal. Grant extended an apology Thursday.

"I want you to know that I'm sorry," said Grant before he was sentenced.  "(I'm) sorry but there are no words that can mend the broken hearts in this courtroom. I need you all to know that these were not my intentions that night. None of this."

Grant accepted a plea bargain in January for the deaths of brothers Angel Lopez-Salinas and Lauro Raul Lopez Salinas.  He also admitted guilty in the shooting death of  17-year-old  Armando Cuenca-Curiel.

But earlier the mother of Angel and Lauro said there is no forgiveness in her heart.

"I will never be able to see my sons again," she said through a translator. "I would like to say I forgive him today but I can't."

According to prosecutors, grant setup the drug deal and when he arrived at a location in South Salt Lake, Grant claimed his actions that followed were in self-defense.

Prosecutors say the evidence showed at least one of the victims was trying to get away and was shot in the back.

"It is very clear from past behavior exactly what went down. he pulled out the gun and there was a struggle that took place and he shot three individuals," said prosecutor Matthew Janzen. 

At the outset Grant claimed it was self defense.  He was shot once in the leg.  But Janzen said that's now what happened, reminding the judge that one of the victims was shot in the back while fleeing.

Grant pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter and was sentenced to six years to 30 years in prison.

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