Four Moab men are facing multiple felony charges in connection with an alleged kidnapping and assault that occurred on Dec. 19. Prosecutors allege that Joshua West Laurio, 31, Gabriel Lorenzo Laurio, 34, Keith Condie Leavitt, 30, and Jeffrey Dee Tranter, 32, kicked in the front door of a home on Wingate Ave., on Moab’s west side, grabbed a man who was at the home with his girlfriend and began beating him, then forced him into a pickup truck and drove away.
According to a probable cause statement from the Moab Police Department, the four men allegedly continued beating the man in the back seat of the pickup truck as they drove away. According to authorities, the truck, which was driven by Tranter, had a Moab Heat-N-Cool logo on the side.
The girlfriend told police the four men kept asking her boyfriend, Sean Randall Gaines, where they could find another man, Cody Roark.
Police officers who were called to the Wingate home soon headed to Grand Oasis mobile home park on 500 West, where Cody was believed to live, in an attempt to locate the pickup truck.
While en route, the officers were notified by police dispatch that another woman had called to report that the same four men had broken into her mobile home in Grand Oasis.
According to the arrest report, the woman told police that Tranter and Leavitt “forced their way into the residence” and pushed her, another woman and Roark then spit on all three of them. The woman said the two men threatened to “beat everyone in the house to death,” according to the probable cause arrest report. The woman told police that Joshua Laurio waited on her front porch as Leavitt and Tranter entered the home, and that Gabriel Laurio remained in the back seat of the truck, where Gaines was still being held.
Another woman at the Grand Oasis home told police she saw the men get back inside the pickup truck “still beating [Gaines] as they drove away.”
Someone from the mobile home park followed the pickup truck and called police to say it had parked on Palisade Drive. Officers went to the home on Palisade and found the four men exiting the pickup truck. They were placed under arrest, however, they denied knowing Gaines, who was no longer inside the truck.
While investigating the truck for evidence, officers found “a substantial amount of blood in the back seat,” according to the arrest report.
According to the report, witnesses on Wingate Avenue said the pickup truck had returned to Gaines’ home, “slowed down, and threw [Gaines] from the back seat onto the roadway and drove away.”
Gaines was badly beaten and several of his teeth were broken, according to the report.
Leavitt, Tranter and Joshua and Gabriel Laurio are all charged with aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated burglary, all first-degree felonies, aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, and three third-degree felony counts of propelling a bodily substance for allegedly spitting on the people at the mobile home. All the charges were filed as gang-related because the crimes allegedly were committed “in concert with two or more people,” and carry enhanced sentences under Utah Criminal Code. The kidnapping and burglary charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
All four men were also charged with multiple misdemeanor counts, including assault, making threats of violence, disorderly conduct, intoxication and damaging, defacing or destroying property. Tranter also faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, and Leavitt was also charged with a first-degree felony count of using a concealed weapon in the commission of a violent felony. All four were released from jail after posting bail bonds ranging from $74,000 to $76,000 following their December 19 arrests.
Leavitt and Joshua and Gabriel Laurio had their first appearance before 7th District Judge Lyle Anderson on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Tranter is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on Jan. 19.
ByBy Lisa J. Church