SALT LAKE CITY — The 15-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting an Ogden grocer in February could face additional charges based on further investigation of the gun police believe he used, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
"We won't know one way or the other until the investigation is complete," Deputy Weber County attorney Letitia Toombs said in Ogden's 2nd District Juvenile Court.
The boy is accused of walking into the Super Grocery convenience store, 675 N. Monroe Blvd., and shooting 65-year-old Satnam Singh. Prosecutors allege the teenager said, 'this is a stickup' before firing four times, striking Singh twice just before midnight on Feb. 28.
Weber County Attorney Chris Allred has said the evidence points to a robbery that turned deadly but not a hate crime. The office is also waiting on a medical examiner's report.
Defense attorney Ron Nichols said Tuesday the prospect of further potential charges was new to him but he has received other sorts of evidence from the state.
"Everyone's working cooperatively to try to get the best outcomes for all concerned," he told KSL.com after the hearing.
The teenager, whom KSL.com is choosing not to name at this time, spoke little at Tuesday's brief court hearing held via videoconference.
He has not yet entered pleas to charges of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, both first-degree felonies, and is being held in a youth detention center ahead of trial.
Judge Debra Jensen scheduled preliminary and certification hearings for Aug. 19 and 20 to determine if the evidence supports the charges and whether the boy should face them in Utah's adult system.
The boy was arrested after Ogden police responded to a home March 2 to address a "juvenile disturbance" and learned a 15-year-old boy there was responsible for the fatal shooting, charges state. Officers retrieved the gun as well as a hoodie and sweatpants that matched those seen in surveillance footage of the suspected gunman in the store.
The boy allegedly declined to tell detectives who had sold him the gun he later fired when the clerk moved away from the counter, according to the charging documents.
"He admitted to planning the robbery because he did not have as much cash as he wanted," charges say. "He acknowledged that he had smoked THC prior to the day of this event but that he stopped smoking so he could be sober for the robbery."
State law caps the maximum penalty for those who were minors at the time of their crimes to at least 25 years and up to life in prison.