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Spenser Heaps, KSL, File

14-year-old charged with manslaughter in shooting death of Utah classmate

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Feb. 12, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Criminal charges were filed Tuesday against a 14-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting another teenager during their school lunch break.

West Valley police confirmed the boy was charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court with manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and obstruction of justice, a third-degree felony.

Elma Castillo, the mother of the victim, on Tuesday told KSL she's trying to cope with the loss of her son and she feels lost.

Of the 14-year-old getting charged in the death, Castillo said, "I feel sad. Because he's just a baby, too. They were all babies."

On Feb. 5, Marquez Grajeda, 15, was shot in the head from close range and killed while inside a bedroom at a house at 1347 W. 2320 South. Several teens and adults were in the house at the time of the incident. The teens were on a lunch break from school, according to police. Marquez did not live at that house.

Police have previously stated that the shooting was not believed to be intentional. But according to Utah law, a charge of manslaughter can be filed if prosecutors believe someone recklessly caused the death of another person.


"My son got taken away, but the other parents are suffering, too. But they get to see their son. I feel bad because he's a baby, too, and that really has destroyed his life," Castillo said.

On Feb. 7, police announced that a Utah Highway Patrol dive team had recovered the gun believed to have been used in the fatal shooting in a canal near 2700 South and 1400 West.

Detectives have seized three guns as part of their investigation: two from inside the home where the shooting occurred and the one from the canal. One of the guns recovered in the house belongs to the homeowner, according to West Valley police.

Investigators have not been able to determine who owns the second gun.

Contributing: Ashley Imlay

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