OGDEN, UTAH— In June 2019 Dalton James Aiken, 28, was sentenced to a term of 16 years to life in prison in connection with the shooting death of Brian Racine on August 16, 2018. Racine, a 28-year-old homeless man originally from California, was sleeping at a homeless encampment outside of Ogden, Utah when he was shot once in the head — by Dalton Aiken.
But Aiken had not been out at the homeless camp alone. Rather, he and his friend Cory Fitzwater had gone out together. They were on a mission, Aiken would later tell police. They went out there to harass some homeless people.
Not long after Fitzwater and Aiken found themselves in jail in the wake of the shooting, they each made separate phone calls in which they accused the other of having been entirely responsible for the killing. But Fitzwater took things well beyond “normal” blame shifting, if there is such a thing in the context of murder. Prosecutors allege that Fitzwater bribed multiple uninvolved inmates to approach the police with their [totally invented] stories explaining how the other guy — Aiken — had confessed to them that Aiken had Killed Racine, and that he had worked alone. Also, they should add that Fitzwater was totally innocent.
It didn’t work. And this video shows why.
Get ready for the least-convincing story of your life.
As of today, Aiken has been convicted. And it didn’t come about through tainted inmate testimony.
As for Fitzwater, his trial is only just getting started, having faced significant delays due to a combination of Covid and substantially more challenging scheduling between prosecutors and defense expert witnesses.
Notably, Fitzwater tried and failed to secure compassionate release from the jail due to a particularly bad Covid outbreak at the facility where he is now held. Prosecutors argued that the greater community would only be safe with the alleged murderer locked away. There was also the matter of his alleged attempts in jail to “manufacture evidence, influence witnesses and obstruct justice” in his case.
Fitzwater stands charged with murder and obstruction of justice. This is one of Fitzwater’s alleged obstructors-for-pay.
[Pictured in the original thumbnail was Cory Fitzwater, who is alleged to have bribed Miller Costello to tell this invented story.]
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