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Utah teen accused of plotting to shoot girl weighs plea deal

(Josh Timothy, File)



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LOGAN, Utah (AP) — A plea deal is on the table for a teenager accused of encouraging a friend to kill a 14-year-old girl found in a ditch with a gunshot wound to the head, prosecutors and defense attorneys said Tuesday.

Jayzon Decker, 17, needs another week to consider the plea agreement offered by prosecutors in the attempted murder case, his lawyer Shannon Demler said.

A judge agreed to the timeline and set a new hearing for Dec. 19, CacheValleyDaily.com reported. Prosecutor Spencer Walsh said the offer will expire that day if Decker does not accept it.

Neither side offered details of the proposed deal.

Decker is charged with attempted aggravated murder, attempted robbery and four counts of obstructing justice, all felonies.

The Associated Press does not typically name juvenile defendants, but the teens were ordered to face charges as adults.

Prosecutors said the pair, then both 16, concocted the plan while playing video games and discussing their desire to "get rid" of victim Deserae Turner, who was texting Peterson.

They lured her to a dry canal in the small northern Utah town of Smithfield, about 90 miles north of Salt Lake City, by promising to sell her a knife in February, authorities said.

They'd originally planned to stab her, but Colter D. Peterson, 17, shot her instead and then left her for dead in a ditch, prosecutors said.

She was found alive after an overnight search and hospitalized for two months. She still struggles with eating and walking, her family has said.

Peterson pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated murder and robbery in October. Prosecutors have said he could be called to testify against Decker, who is also accused of keeping the bullet as a memento.

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