Judge To Decide If Teen To Be Tried As Adult

May 3, 2017

Credit Cache County Sheriff

A Northern Utah juvenile court judge says she will announce her decision on Monday about whether or not a teen should be tried as adult.

First District Juvenile Court Judge Angela F. Fonnesbeck heard two days of expert and witness testimony this week. The transfer hearing was for one of two teens charged with aggravated attempted murder in the shooting of 14-year-old Deserae Turner.

The last person to testify Tuesday was the girl's mother, April Turner. After her daughter failed to return home after school on February sixteenth, the mother became worried and began calling neighbors and friends to help find the missing girl. She was found lying in a canal with a gunshot wound to her head.

Now, says her mother, the middle school-er has vision problems and limited use of the left side of her body. The bullet remains in her head, where a shunt has been placed permanently to remove cerebral fluid.
The prosecution's lead attorney, James Swink, said the defendant played a key role in a plot to kill the girl and should be placed in an adult security facility. There, he argued, the teen would be better evaluated and provided services appropriate for someone who committed an aggravated crime.

Defense attorney Shannon Demler disagrees, and said a juvenile facility would protect his client from a dangerous adult facility while also protecting society.

A second defendant in the case will go  before the judge next week for a similar hearing.