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Man who murdered girlfriend when 14 will serve at least 18 years in prison

(Rick Egan, File)


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UTAH STATE PRISON — A man who was 14 when he killed his 15-year-old girlfriend and dumped her body in the Jordan River won't get his first chance at parole until he's 37.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has decided to give Darwin Chris Bagshaw his first parole hearing in October of 2034. In April, Bagshaw was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder, a first-degree felony, for killing Anne Grace Kasprzak in 2012.

Bagshaw violently beat Kasprzak with a shovel along the Jordan River Parkway in Draper before dumping her body in the river. Her body wasn't found until the next day.

Because police originally arrested the wrong person, Bagshaw, who turned 19 in June, wasn't arrested until 2014. That long delay became a significant point of contention in court when prosecutors and defense attorneys argued whether he should be charged as adult for a crime he committed when he was 14.

Although his sentence was pre-determined by state law, Bagshaw's defense attorney, Chris Bown, voiced his displeasure with the current laws on how to deal with a juvenile charged with an adult crime. They had a doctor testify that a juvenile's mind is still developing into their late 20s and early 30s, and that treatment in a juvenile facility is more beneficial rather than incarceration in the adult facility.

Kasprazak's parents, however, said Bagshaw should be held accountable for his actions, even at age 14. They also noted that he never stepped forward and took responsibility for his actions for more than two years after the teenager's death.

Although no motive was ever officially given for the murder, the defense suggested at sentencing that Bagshaw "snapped" when Kasprzak told him she was pregnant with his baby. An autopsy later concluded she was not pregnant. Prosecutors contended it was part of Bagshaw's plan to lure Kasprzak to a dark, isolated area and kill her.

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Pat Reavy

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