Comments Off on Provo death was a contract killing over 1 oz. of meth, police say

PROVO — A Provo man shot in the forehead and found dead on his porch earlier this month was the subject of a contract killing paid for with 1 ounce of methamphetamine, police say.

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Yuri Sanchez Lara, 32, hired 38-year-old Darrell Wayne Morris to kill Andy Wendell Purcell, according to police affidavits filed Wednesday in 4th District Court.

A confidential informant told police Lara believed Purcell, 32, had provided officers with information that resulted in methamphetamine being found in a storage unit Lara had in Orem. Information provided by the informant “has been verified to be reliable and correct,” the affidavits state.

Purcell was found on the front porch of his Provo home, 541 S. 300 East, on the morning of May 16 with a gunshot wound to his head. Police say Lara contacted Morris “a couple days” prior to the shooting to talk about the assault on Purcell.

The informant told police Lara paid Morris a half-ounce of methamphetamine prior to the shooting, with a promise to pay another half-ounce after the assault had been committed, according to the affidavits.

Morris and “a man from Ogden” carried out the contract, according to police. After the shooting, “Lara was very happy with the result,” the affidavits state. “Knowing that Purcell had been shot and was in the hospital in critical condition, (Lara) paid Morris the other half-ounce of methamphetamine as promised.”

Purcell died at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center on May 17.

Lara and Morris were arrested late Monday and early Tuesday. Lara, of Orem, was arrested during a traffic stop in Provo. Morris, of Payson, was picked up at a West Valley City hotel.

Lara became a person of interest to police after Parcell’s family members said the two had been known to deal drugs together and had been involved in a running dispute over payment for a car Purcell sold to Lara, the affidavits state.

Lara is being held in the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and possession with intent to distribute cocaine as well as possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

Morris also has been jailed for investigation of aggravated murder and conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

Utah court records show Morris has an extensive criminal history. He was charged in 3rd District Court in March with theft and forgery-related crimes and had a warrant issued for his arrest for failing to appear in court on May 12.

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