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Salt Lake County Jail and Utah Department of Corrections

Agency now wants man released early after killing officer sent to prison

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Jul. 15, 2020 at 8:36 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Adult Probation and Parole is recommending that one of two brothers convicted four years ago of killing a West Valley police officer be sent to prison to serve his original sentence.

“The only appropriate recourse is for Mr. Boggs to be incarcerated in the Utah State Prison to protect the public from future victims,” the agency says in court documents.

Christopher Boggs, 18, was arrested Monday for investigation of theft by receiving stolen property after he was pulled over driving a stolen car at approximately 100 mph. Inside the vehicle, police discovered Boggs’ 17-year-old brother, Lawrence Boggs, who had been shot multiple times.

Lawrence Boggs was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. He is believed to have been shot in Salt Lake City, but details about how that happened were still being investigated Wednesday.

Two other boys, ages 14 and 17 — both documented gang members, according to court records — were also in the vehicle, police said.

The younger Boggs is also a suspect in a shootout in the hallway of a West Valley hotel on Saturday between rival gang members, according to police.

All of this coming just weeks after they were released from custody early.

The brothers were two of the three boys convicted as teenagers in the death of West Valley police officer Cody Brotherson, 25. On Nov. 6, 2016, they were driving a stolen car and trying to get away from police when they hit and killed Brotherson.

Both Boggs brothers were convicted in juvenile court and ordered to remain in custody until they turned 21. But the two brothers were expelled from the juvenile court system and sent into the adult justice system after committing two separate assaults while in juvenile detention facilities, according to court records.

Once in the adult system, Christopher Boggs was released in April and his brother was released in May.

Lawrence Boggs was convicted in March 2019 of assault by a prisoner with gang enhancement, a second-degree felony. He was sentenced to serve one to 15 years in the Utah State Prison. But he was released on parole on May 28 due to COVID-19 safety measures in order to open up more space in correctional facilities, according to the Department of Corrections.

Similarly, Christopher Boggs was convicted of assault by a prisoner, a third-degree felony, in January. He was sentenced on March 23 to zero to five years in prison — a term Judge Camille Nieder suspended — and instead she ordered him to serve four months in jail with about two months of credit for the time he had already served, a fine of $50 and three years of probation. He was released from the Weber County Jail less than a month later on April 17.

After his arrest, Adult Probation and Parole placed a 72-hour hold on Boggs Tuesday, meaning he cannot be released from custody until a court hearing scheduled for next week.

Boggs has violated his parole several ways since being released from custody, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

On June 10, Boggs’ parole officer was made aware of a recent photo of the two brothers together flashing a gang sign, court documents state. The brothers are not allowed to be involved with gangs as part of the conditions of their release.

The second violation was when Chris Boggs was arrested on Monday. In addition to being with other known gang members, police found two guns inside the stolen car he was driving, according to court documents.

“Mr. Boggs was the driver of a stolen vehicle and continues to involve himself in the gang lifestyle,” the agency wrote in its report. Since his release on April 17, he “has been continuing to live the gang and criminal lifestyle while in the community. He associates with his brother Lawrence who is a major influence in the (gang) lifestyle and Mr. Boggs was driving Lawrence around when he was critically injured and is fighting for his life in the intensive care unit.”

Although police do not know if Christopher Boggs was involved with the hotel shooting, “what is known is Mr. Boggs has no intention of not living a criminal lifestyle. He is a significant public safety risk and his criminal history, past and current gang involvement speak for itself,” the report states.

If a court determines Boggs was in violation of his probation, Adult Probation and Parole is recommending that “probation be terminated as unsuccessful and the original sentence be imposed.”

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