LOGAN — A judge has ruled that one of the 16-year-old boys accused in the shooting of Deserae Turner will be tried as an adult. Judge Angela Fonnesbeck’s ruling came in 1st District Court Monday morning, five-days after a two-day hearing concluded, where defense attorneys argued to keep the defendant in the juvenile court system.
Judge Fonnesbeck said although the defendant was not the one with the gun, he was an accomplice by planning the shooting and acting as lookout. She went onto say that even though he did not pull the trigger himself, his actions were no less culpable. She also noted how the two defendants created a plan to kill Turner, including supposed code words. She concluded that there was plenty of time for the defendant to step away from the crime but he failed to do so.
Outside the courtroom, Cache County Attorney James Swink said he appreciated the judge’s ruling and her thoughtful, careful consideration of all the evidence. He said the decision provides a good measure of justice for the victim’s families.
“We feel the deep tragedy and loss of quality of life that the victim has experienced over the past several months, and the rest of her life,” said Swink. “We also feel deeply for the loss in our community. The loss of safety and the fear that has been instilled in others, and we believe the court’s decision today goes a long way to help heal us, and provides some sense of justice for not only the family but those who live in our community.”
During the ruling, Judge Fonnesbeck said the court was acutely aware of the shocking nature of the crime. She expressed empathy for all of the families involved, noting they would never recover from what happened, financially or emotionally.
Throughout the ruling, the defendant showed no emotion or reaction, as he sat next to his defense attorney Shannon Demler.
After, Demler said his client has never been in court before and is scared. He went onto describe how the defendant is remorseful for what happened to Turner.
“He is very apologetic,” Demler explained. “He understands that a terrible thing happened, and even though he didn’t have the gun, he wasn’t the shooter and things such as that, he definitely is apologetic for any actions that he had that were involved in this situation.”
The teenager is scheduled to be arraigned in adult court on Thursday afternoon. He is charged with attempted aggravated murder, attempted burglary, and obstructing justice.
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