The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office has filed charges against individuals alleged to have attacked DJ Bell and Dan Fair on July 5, 2008. The case gained a lot of attention almost immediately after it occurred because the apparent victims of an attack--Bell and boyfriend Dan Fair, then of South Salt Lake--had to wait until Bell could defend himself against sketchy kidnapping charges before the obvious assault was charged by prosecutors. The charges include at least one first-degree felony.
City Weekly has followed the case every step of the way, from the initial attack, to the pretrial hearings, to daily updates of the trial (here, here, here, here, and here), to the post-acquittal fall-out (here, and here), to the time period while Bell was exonerated but authorities had not yet blamed anyone for the attack.
Supporters of Bell were convinced the kidnapping charges against him were bogus even before the trial. Some who were more cautious, however, mostly threw caution to the wind after the defense last year quite handily demonstrated that the key witness in the kidnapping case, one of the children's mothers, Lulu Latu, was lying or severely mistaken about the events of that night. Most notably, Latu testified that when she entered Bell's home she found both children, ages 2 and 4, in Bell's bedroom with Fair sleeping on the bed. Police photos from that night, Bell's defense attorneys showed during closing arguments, showed the alleged bedroom was only a storage room and contained no bed.
Jurors on the case against Bell called it a waste of tax payer money and said the wrong person was on trial.
Bell maintained both before and after the trial--he didn't testify--that he came upon the children unattended and offered them Kool-Aid. Both he and Fair were attacked shortly there after, they say, but precisely who participated in the attack has been yet to be determined.
The DA's office did not include defendants' names in their press release(see the update below). Contents of the press release: "
3/2/2010 3:31 p.m. update: The defendants are Lisa Rita Aiono, 25; Marsha Rae Finau, 31; Angelina Janae Dibella, 31; Tapululululu "Lulu" Latu, 30; Ricky Ian Peace,33; Ietitaia Tavita Nuusila, 26; Ieti David Mageo, 32.
Download one of the charging documents to get a feel for the case, here (pdf).