After being found not guilty of first-degree felony murder by a jury of his peers in March, the Utah County Attorney’s Office has filed additional charges against 20-year-old Elbert John Paule of Chula Vista, California.
Previously, the Utah County Attorney’s Office charged Paule with first-degree felony murder, second-degree felony obstruction of justice, class A misdemeanor reckless endangerment and class B misdemeanor assault after prosecutors alleged he shot and killed 26-year-old Dominique Barnett at Paule’s apartment in Orem in February 2019.
Paule entered a plea of not guilty for each charge the following month.
According to the probable cause statement filed in support of his arrest last February, Barnett went to Paule’s apartment complex to visit him.
When Barnett arrived at his apartment, Paule allegedly looked through the peep hole, exclaimed “Aw, h--l no,” and opened the door before shooting Barnett in the torso using a 12 gauge shotgun. The shooting allegedly took place in front of Barnett’s fiancé.
Paule then allegedly threw the shotgun off of the apartment balcony and fled to California where he eventually turned himself over to police.
After an eight-day trial, the jury found Paule not guilty of the first-degree felony murder charge as well as the class A misdemeanor reckless endangerment and class B misdemeanor assault charges. However, Paule was found guilty of second-degree felony obstruction of justice for throwing the shotgun off of the balcony.
Paule was expected to appear in court on April 22 to receive sentencing for the second-degree felony charge. However, the defense filed a motion to arrest judgment.
Now, the Utah County Attorney’s Office has filed two second-degree felony charges for false or inconsistent material statements.
In the probable cause statement filed in support of Paule’s arrest, officers state when Paule took the witness stand and testified on his own behalf on March 9 and 10, he made several false material statements under oath.
These statements, officials said, included testifying that Paule did not open the door but Barnett did, and that Barnett was in the apartment when Paule fired the shotgun, according to court documents.
Authorities are recommending that Paule’s bail be set at $21,000, which is $10,500 for each new felony charge.