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Utah convict will stand trial for 1989 murder

(Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)
(Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)
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Updated: 11/09/2013 2:31 am

SALT LAKE CITY, UT- 24 years after the sexual assault and murder of a Utah teenaged girl, a suspect who is already in prison will face charges.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Thomas Evan Noffsinger will stand trial, accused of the rape and fatal strangulation of 17-year-old Felicia Pappas over two decades ago.

Pappas’ body was found on April 6, 1989, less than two blocks from the home she shared with her mother Debbie Troska. She was found by an accountant in the area, behind his office building near Salt Lake City. A medical examiner reported she had been sexually assaulted and strangled. Police never found the perpetrator.

The cold case became active again in 2010, when an employee of the Utah State Crime Lab told Unified Police Detective Todd Park about biological evidence still in storage. The evidence implicated Noffsinger when tested for DNA.

At a Friday hearing to determine whether there was enough evidence for a trial, Park testified that Noffsinger denied any involvement in the death of the girl when first interviewed. At a second interview, the convict said he wasn’t sure how he met Pappas, but when a detective in the room made the suggestion he had “judged her” that morning, Noffsinger admitted he had.

After 1 ½ days of testimony, presiding Judge Elizabeth Hruby-Mills ruled Noffsinger will stand trial. He will be arrained December 6.

Noffsinger, 46, is already serving life in prison for murdering pie chef Victor Aguilar while he was working at a Salt Lake City Marie Callender’s restaurant in 1990. Noffsinger slashed Aguilar’s throat, stabbed him in the back and stomped on him while another man attempted to steal the business’s safe.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

 

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