"I'm Going to Take Him Out"
July 18, 2013
"You're dead, mother****r!" Those were the last words spoken to 41-year-old Kamas, Utah resident Wade Pennington as he bled to death from two gunshot wounds inflicted at point-blank range.
The man who hurled that sadistic taunt at Pennington, Brett Lopez, wasn't the shooter; his role had been to trap the unarmed victim in the kill zone while his associate, Jared Nichols, pulled the trigger. Just minutes earlier, Nichols had been overheard saying that he intended to "take out" Pennington. He and Perez were well-acquainted with the victim; indeed, immediately after he pulled the trigger, Nichols called Wade by name. After shooting Pennington, Nichols seized the dying victim and attempted to make it look as if he had been the aggressor. In doing so, Nichols wound up with some of the dying man's blood on his clothing. Both Nichols and Perez lied to investigators after the shooting. Their lies were contradicted by physical evidence at the crime scene and by video recordings of the incidents leading up to the homicide.