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Judge dismisses charge, clearing way for teen to face murder charge as adult

Judge dismisses charge, clearing way for teen to face murder charge as adult

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SALT LAKE CITY — The teenager accused of murdering Anne Kasprzak and dumping her body in the Jordan River in 2012 is now done with the juvenile court system and is headed to adult court.

This week, 3rd District Juvenile Judge Dane Nolan dismissed a charge of obstruction of justice against 17-year-old Darwin Chris Bagshaw despite objections from his attorney.

Bagshaw was 14 when he allegedly beat his 15-year-old Riverton girlfriend to death in a brutal killing. He was charged in juvenile court with murder and obstruction of justice. Last month, however, Nolan certified Bagshaw to stand trial as an adult on the murder charge but kept the obstruction charge in juvenile court.

In what Nolan conceded Thursday was an "unusual circumstance," prosecutors moved to dismiss the obstruction charge even though Bagshaw announced he would plead no contest to it. His attorneys had wanted Nolan to sentence him on that charge.

Defense attorney Bill Russell said the goal was to keep his client out of the Salt Lake County Jail and keep him in juvenile detention until he turned 21.

"The juvenile defense is disappointed that we could not arrange for some juvenile justice services for our client. We respect Judge Nolan's decision," he said.


The juvenile defense is disappointed that we could not arrange for some juvenile justice services for our client. We respect Judge Nolan's decision.

–Bill Russell, defense attorney


In his ruling, Nolan said it was in Bagshaw's best interest to have the obstruction charge dismissed. If an appeals court were to overturn the decision to separate the obstruction and murder charges, Nolan said, Bagshaw could have potentially faced additional prison time.

Furthermore, by dismissing the obstruction charge, Bagshaw will have a clean juvenile court record. Nolan said that could potentially benefit him with the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole should he be convicted of the murder charge.

The judge also noted that Bagshaw is only a month away from turning 18.

Bagshaw will make his first appearance in adult court on May 29. Nolan will allow the teen to remain in juvenile detention until then.

By being charged in adult court, Bagshaw is now eligible to post bail. Bail was set Thursday at $100,000, something defense attorney Chris Bown said Bagshaw's parents will be unlikely to meet.

Bagshaw's father sat in the front row of the courtroom watching the proceedings. Kasprzak's family was not present for the brief hearing.

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Pat Reavy

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