- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Salt Lake City man told police he shot three people staying at his house, including a baby, because they wouldn’t move out, prosecutors said Thursday.

Alexander Hung Tran, 32, was charged Thursday with three counts of aggravated murder. The bodies were found Sept. 18 after one victim’s 8-year-old grandson wasn’t picked up from school.

Tran had been living in the basement of the house that his mother bought for him, and the three victims were living on the main floor, police said. When she found out the he was letting people stay there, she asked for them move out.

Tran told her that they wouldn’t leave but called a few days later - the day of the deaths - and reported they were gone, prosecutors wrote in charging documents.

Their bodies were found after Heike Poike, 50, didn’t pick up her grandson from school and officials called police. They stopped to check on Poike and found her dead, along with her 2-month-old granddaughter Lyrik Poike and an acquaintance, Dakota Smith, 28.

Tran was also at the house with a gun, and police say he acknowledged the shootings.

When he was arrested, Tran told police, “If I think this is my mom’s fault and that she should be here instead, is there anything I can do?” according to charging documents. He added: “She made me do it. I’m not saying that I didn’t do it,” the charges state.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Tran’s mother wanted to start an eviction process and she knew nothing about what he did before the bodies were discovered.

All of the victims were shot multiple times, Gill said. It was unclear if they were formal, rent-paying tenants or had some other arrangement with Tran.

The baby’s mother is in jail and the identity of the baby’s father is unclear, police have said.

The charges carry the possibility of the death penalty, but Gill declined to say whether prosecutors would seek capital punishment.

No attorney was immediately listed for Tran in court records Thursday. He was being held at the Salt Lake County jail on $3 million bail.

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