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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Three teenage boys accused of fatally striking a West Valley City police officer with a stolen car were sentenced Monday serve time in a long-term juvenile detention center.
Juvenile Judge Kimberly Hornak said the teens should be held in secure care for "as long as possible," in the death of Officer Cody Brotherson, who was hit by a car during a police chase in November 2016, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2tHfzB6 ).
Two brothers, ages 14 and 15, and a friend who is 16 years old, were charged in juvenile court, so their maximum possible sentences were stays in youth detention facilities until age 21. A youth parole board will decide how long they will spend in confinement.
The boys are accused of stealing a car and striking Brotherson as he attempted to help pursuing officers by putting spike strips on the road.
The Associated Press does not usually name juvenile suspects.
Members of Brotherson's family said they're frustrated with the outcome of the case, including his mother, Jenny Brotherson, who called the outcome "terrible."
"They decided Cody's life was worth less than a stolen car," she said. "They don't care, literally do not care, about who they've hurt or what they've stolen from this world."
She said that prosecutors did their best, but she'd like to see state law changed to be tougher on juveniles accused in police officer deaths.
The boys were charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the officer's death. But they pleaded in June to lesser charges.
The oldest teen pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony murder charge, car theft and other crimes. The 14-year-old pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other crimes, and the 15-year-old admitted to car theft and other crimes.
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