Booking photo for Daniel Espinoza (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).
LOGAN — A 49-year-old man arrested in Logan last fall is being sent back to California on suspicion of murder. Daniel J. Espinoza is wanted in Riverside, on allegations that he killed a man during a fight.
Court records show, Espinoza appeared in 1st District Court Friday morning attempting to fight extradition back to California. He previously filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus, claiming that he was “illegally arrested and detained.”
Espinoza’s petition claimed that he was arrested by Logan City police officers and FBI agents before a California judge ever signed a warrant. He was taken into custody while leaving his place of employment, November 15 and has been held in jail ever since.
According to the warrant affidavit, on October 24, the Riverside Fire Department was treating a person involved in a bicycle accident when firefighters witnessed a fight nearby. They watched as Espinoza appeared to strike another man in the torso.
The victim, later identified as Raul Nava, fell to the ground. He was treated by firefighters and later transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police allege the attacker ran from the scene. Two knives were located on the ground near a large blood stain.
Through a photo lineup, Espinoza was picked by witnesses as the person who “looked most like” the attacker, the affidavit states. When detectives attempted to find Espinoza for questioning, they learned he had possibly fled to Utah.
On November 13, detectives received a call from a woman in Logan who said Espinoza had come to her door and told her that “he was on the run from California for stabbing ‘Raul.’”
Court records show, during Friday’s hearing, Judge Brian Cannell denied Espinoza’s petition, explaining that he was unable to conclude that the defendant was illegally arrested. He ordered him to be extradited back to California to face the murder charges.