Teen charged in West Valley girl's death appears in court

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SALT LAKE CITY — A West Valley teenager charged with the rape and aggravated murder of a 12-year-old girl attended a scheduling conference Thursday, and attorneys for both sides agreed to convene again in April.

The boy, now 16 years old, sat quietly and looked straight ahead at Judge Jim Michie during the hearing in 3rd District Juvenile Court. Michie explained to the teenager why he permitted another scheduling conference for April 12.

"I am concerned about how much time it's taking … but if I go too fast, I'm worried I'll get the wrong kind of information or incomplete information," the judge said.

The teenager is charged with aggravated murder and rape of a child, both first-degree felonies. He was 15 years old when police say he killed 12-year-old Kailey Vijil on July 17 after going to her West Valley home and persuading her to help him look for a lost cat.

Kailey's naked body was later found in a nearby horse pasture. An autopsy found that the girl died from strangulation. Police also said evidence found on her body indicated she was sexually assaulted.

More than a dozen people — members of both Kailey's and the teenager's families — attended Thursday's hearing.

Monica Diaz Greene, the teen's attorney, told the judge that her team is still combing through information for his defense.

"We are working hard with experts and other people we have retained," Greene said.

Michie urged Greene to coordinate with prosecutors in advance of the April hearing to prevent subsequent requests for information between the two sides from slowing down the case.

"The more free-flowing information (there is) at this point, I think the quicker we'll be able to get to the actual hearing," Michie said.

The judge pressed attorneys about the timing of the case at another scheduling hearing in October when he said, "I don't want to take a day longer than we have to."

No preliminary or adult certification hearings are currently scheduled.

KSL has chosen not to identify the teen at this time.

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Ben Lockhart

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