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Prosecutors not seeking to certify 3 teens as adults in officer's death

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Prosecutors not seeking to certify 3 teens as adults in officer's death

By McKenzie Romero | Posted - Mar. 9, 2017 at 7:31 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors said Thursday they are not currently seeking to certify as adults three teenagers charged with murder in the death of West Valley police officer Cody Brotherson.

Following separate hearings for the three teens Thursday, prosecutor Sandi Johnson confirmed that, for now, the cases are advancing toward separate trials in the juvenile system.

However, because new information is still coming in about the cases, Johnson said that decision could later be reversed.

Third District Juvenile Judge Kim Hornak had intended to schedule trial dates for the boys during Thursday's hearings, but prosecutors characterized the cases as "active investigation(s)," while defense attorneys said they had just that day received thousands of files of evidence, including from the teens' social media accounts.

Separate motion hearings in the cases are scheduled for late April.

The three boys — ages 14, 15 and 15 — are accused of fleeing from West Valley police in a car they had just stolen on Nov. 6 and then hitting and killing Brotherson near the intersection of 4100 South and 2200 West.

Brotherson was attempting to lay down spike strips to stop the car his fellow officers were chasing. At least one officer saw that vehicle swerve toward Brotherson, striking him and likely killing him on impact. The three teenagers accused of being inside the car were arrested at two nearby houses across the street from each other.

All three boys are charged with murder with gang enhancements, a first-degree felony; car theft with gang enhancements, a first-degree felony; and failing to stop at the command of a law enforcer, a class A misdemeanor.

Two of the boys, brothers ages 14 and 15, each face an additional charge of possession of burglary tools, a class B misdemeanor. The boys had shaved spoons, according to the charges. Shaved spoons are often used as burglary tools.

The 14-year-old brother and the other 15-year-old are also charged with obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony. The 15-year-old brother was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by a minor, a class B misdemeanor, for having brass knuckles, the charges state.

The teens remain in custody, where they have been held since November. KSL has opted not to name the boys at this time.

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McKenzie Romero

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