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Man Convicted of Murdering Park City Bartender Loses Appeal


A Midvale man sent to prison for shooting to death a popular Park City bartender four years ago has lost his appeal before the Utah Court of Appeals.


James Enoch Henfling was arrested for shooting bartender Jose Fernandez in February 2016, after a fight broke out between the two men during a late-night party at the victim’s Park City condo. In the fall of 2017, Henfling was convicted on one count of murder and a count of felony discharge of a firearm. In 2018, Henfling was sentenced to a prison term of 16 years to life.


Last year, Henfling’s request for a new trial was turned down. The judge overruled the defendant’s claim of self-defense and allegations from his attorney of prosecutorial misconduct. 


Henfling’s murder conviction was affirmed by the Court of Appeals Friday 3-0. The 3 paneled judges wrote that because there was sufficient evidence to submit the case to the jury, the court did not err and there were no errors in the jury instructions that were harmful to Henfling. Further, Henfling hasn’t shown that he was entitled to a new trial because he didn’t establish error by the trial court or ineffective assistance by his counsel. 


In a statement from Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson wrote, "the Summit County Attorney’s Office is very pleased by the affirmation of the 2017 trial and evidence.” Today, she said is a day to remember and honor Jose Fernandez, his widow Grisel, and their young daughter.

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