Suspect in Matthew Holt murder arrested, confesses

Jeffery Ray Shepherd, 35, of Tooele, Utah has been arrested for the murder of Matthew Holt. Shepherd has confessed to shooting Holt after demanding money from the victim.

Holt, 46, was found dead with a gunshot wound in his black Mazda at about 3200 South and 9th West on Easter Sunday, according to South Salt Lake Police.

Police had sought community help using grainy images of people in the area Holt was found. Police also sent images of a vehicle believed to be driven by the killer. Weeks went by and Holt’s family offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Holt’s father Earl Holt, told media sources he was pleased an arrest had been made, but also knows the family still must endure court appearances and a sentencing before closure can occur.

“I’m glad this part of it is done,” he said to the Deseret News. “My wife and I both don’t want any vengeance, but we’re happy there’s been an arrest. It’s just a senseless thing that happened to our son. He was such a good man, and he touched so many lives.”

South Salt Lake City Police detective Gary Keller credits an off-duty SSL police officer who was in Tooele for spotting the car matching the suspect car description. The officer, new to the SSL force, followed the car to an address and called for Tooele City and County law back up and SSL police detectives were called in to question and make the arrest.

At press time, Shepherd was being held without bail at the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of first-degree felony murder, first-degree felony aggravated robbery and second-degree felony tampering with evidence counts.
The probable cause statement says Shepherd waived Miranda rights and confessed he demanded cash from Holt at gunpoint. After he received the money, Shepherd shot the Holt, picked up the shell casing and left the Jordan River Parkway crime scene in South Salt Lake.

Police say Shepherd also admitted to disposing of his handgun, the casings and clothing, and washing blood from his car.

Friends also say Holt was a funny and caring person. He worked at Wax Me Too Salon.

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