Teen charged as an adult in West Valley murder

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Jonatan Bustos
Jonatan Bustos

WEST VALLEY CITY -- The West Valley teen accused of stabbing a classmate to death in front of a Family Dollar store earlier this week has been charged as an adult in the crime.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office charged 16-year-old Jonatan Bustos Thursday with first-degree murder for killing 15-year-old Tayler Pankow.

"He's been charged as an adult because he meets the state statute," Mark Biljanic, District Attorney's office spokesman, said. "Basically, if you're 16 and you commit murder, that crime falls under the jurisdiction of the district court."

Charging documents say on Aug. 30 Bustos and Tayler Pankow were in front of the Family Dollar store at 4760 W. 4715 South when they began arguing over a stolen iPod. the documents say Bustos pulled a knife and stabbed Tayler Pankow twice in the torso then ran from the scene.

Tayler Pankow's family is still grieving, of course, but they say they've already forgiven Bustos.

"I feel very badly for the parents because they're suffering just as we are. They're going through the same thing. We both lost a child," Bob Pankow, Tayler's grandfather

"I've already forgiven him. I have no hate in my heart for him at all, none," said Bob Pankow, Tayler Pankow's grandfather. "I hope the guy spends the rest of his days in prison."

An autopsy report shows Tayler Pankow was stabbed in the stomach and chest; he ultimately died from a stab wound to the heart.

When police later questioned Bustos, he admitted to the crime. Despite that, the Pankow family says they feel for Bustos' loved ones too.

"I feel very badly for the parents because they're suffering just as we are," Bob Pankow said. "They're going through the same thing. We both lost a child."

Bustos was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail Thursday. He'll face charges in court Sept. 7.

E-mail: ngonzales@ksl.com

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