Two men charged with murder in stabbing death of teen in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY — The District Attorney’s Office has filed murder charges against two men accused of stabbing a 16-year-old boy in Salt Lake City following an argument.

Enrique Deloza, 28 of Salt Lake city, and Nicolas Espana, 28 of Salt Lake City, were charged Thursday with one count each of murder, obstructing justice and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.

Marcellano Johnson, victim of fatal stabbing in Salt Lake City.

The charging documents filed this week shed additional light on the altercation that led up to the fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Marcelino Johnson in the early morning hours of August 27.

According to the charging documents, Marcelino was walking with another juvenile male and two 13-year-old girls near 1300 South State Street that morning. Marcelino’s companions tell police the girls were walking a little behind the boys when Deloza and Espana passed the four.

A moment later, the girls ran up to the boys and told them the men had “attempted to persuade the girls to go with them.”

When the group saw the men again an argument broke out and a physical fight ensued but broke up a short time later.

The group told police that later they approached an alley near 75 East Kensington Avenue, where a man emerged from the alley and threw a rock at Marcelino before engaging him in a fight.

The group said that when Marcelino appeared to have the upper hand in the fight, the other man got involved and eventually they heard Marcelino scream. The two men fled and the group discovered their friend had been stabbed, according to the charging documents.

Medical personnel stated the teen was stabbed at least three times, which included a blow that fractured his jawbone and another that cut a major artery. His death was ruled a homicide, and police tracked down Deloza and Espana and arrested both.

Deloza was arrested August 28 while Espana was taken into custody the following day.