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Teen will stand trial in stepfather's death

By Wendy Leonard | Posted - Jan 23rd, 2014 @ 7:54am

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SALT LAKE CITY — A judge ordered an 18-year-old Wednesday to stand trial for murder in a shooting that stemmed from an argument with the man's stepfather in September 2012.

Rosco Dewayne Brackett, of West Valley City, also faces felony charges of obstructing justice and illegal discharge of a firearm, since he was a minor at the time of the alleged incident.

On the second day of a preliminary hearing, the first of which was held in October, 3rd District Judge Robin Reese decided there was enough evidence to order a trial. An arraignment is set for Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. with Judge Katie Bernards-Goodman.

Brackett is accused of fatally shooting his stepfather, James Michael George, 52, at their West Valley City home on Sept. 12, 2012. Prosecutors say Brackett shot his stepfather "repeatedly."

James George died two days later at a hospital.

Gina George, Brackett's mother, testified in October that she had planned to leave her husband, but wasn't going to tell him until after she and Brackett left Utah, headed for Missouri. She told the court that the three of them had eaten dinner together the night of the shooting and afterwards, she and her husband had been arguing.

After he went to sleep, Gina George said she put in headphones and was in the bathroom. She heard shots and came out to find her husband lying in a pool of blood, she told the court, adding that she didn't pay much attention to her son's actions at the time.


Brackett initially told police he had been playing video games at the time of the shooting, according to police testimony during the preliminary hearing. Brackett was arrested when evidence at the crime scene didn't match up with his story. Police said Brackett muttered under his breath about what he had done.

Witnesses testified that Brackett dropped out of school at age 16, was on drugs and was not working. Those issues had become a source of contention between Brackett and his stepfather.

Gina George testified that her marriage went south with the family's financial situation and her husband had become more controlling prior to his death. She admitted to using methamphetamine, even as recently as the morning of the October hearing.

Prosecutors introduced a report from the state's medical examiner on Wednesday, describing James George's death.


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