Three men arrested in connection with the homicide of 7-year-old in Heber City

HEBER CITY, Utah. — The Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office announced that three arrests were made in connection with the homicide of a 7-year-old girl this weekend. The incident occurred at the Wasatch Commons Apartments just north of Heber City.

Christopher R O’Connell is facing the most charges and is being held without bail. The charges include:

  • Manslaughter (2nd-degree felony)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (B misdemeanor)
  • Carrying a weapon while intoxicated (B misdemeanor)
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person (2nd-degree felony)
  • Intoxication (C misdemeanor)

Colin D. Howells is facing a sexual battery (A misdemeanor) and intoxication charge (B misdemeanor). The judge set bail at $2,000, he paid and was released according to the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office.

Trever J. Pinter was charged with obstructing justice (3rd-degree felony). Judge set bail at $1,500- he paid was subsequently released.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

In the post, her father writes “we are doing this fundraising for anyone who can contribute a grain of sand to be able to move my daughter’s body to Puerto Rico and give her the eternal rest that my angel deserves. I will appreciate the help that everyone can give with all my heart.”

T. Pinter. Photo: Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office
C. Howell. Photo: Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office

A report from KSL references the arresting documents that show O’Connell and Howells went to Pinter’s apartment around 10 p.m. Pinter told deputies the two men knocked loudly on his door, apartment 207. The report also notes that the two admitted to mixing alcohol and prescription drugs earlier that evening.

Pinter’s girlfriend, identified as “Ashlee,” and her friend “Aspen” allege that O’Connell was “incredibly intoxicated.” The two women told the police that they were sexually assaulted by O’Connell and Howells. “I was informed Christopher [O’Connell] was grabbing one female’s buttocks and grinding on her,” the arresting documents said. They reported O’Connell pulling out a firearm and waving it around.  

Pinter told deputies the men “stayed at his apartment for 30-60 minutes and they never left.” However, deputies are led to believe that O’Connell and Howells left the apartment at some point. 

He told the police he didn’t see a firearm with either of the men but ended up retracting his statements after confronted with the two women’s testimonies. 

Detectives said they found a shot fired from inside apartment #205, which neighbors the victim’s home. The report says “they located a bullet hole that had gone through the wall and bedroom” and it “continued north through the residence and into the next apartment complex and into the child.”

Deputies suspect the shot was fired by O’Connell- a witness saw him holding a gun following the shooting and the police “observed what appeared to be a firearm near his belt line and protruding from his t-shirt.”

The documents say a witness allegedly told detectives two men, who police believe to be Howells and O’Connell, were looking into the neighboring apartment shortly after the victim was taken to the hospital. 

“They began to ask the witness about who the kids belong to and who he was,” the documents say. “He stated the tall skinny one with blue eyes had his foot placed in the doorway so the door could not close. He also stated he observed the other male holding a firearm in his hand as they spoke.”

The Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with pertaining information to contact them.


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