LOGAN — A judge has ruled that the second 16-year-old boy accused in the shooting of Deserae Turner will be tried as an adult. Judge Angela Fonnesbeck’s ruling came Wednesday morning, the day after a two-day hearing concluded, where the defense argued to keep the defendant in the Juvenile Court System.
Judge Fonnesbeck said she was bound by the rules of law. She acknowledged that the shooting was an act that impacted many in the community. She predicted not only will Tuner never fully recover, but the defendant’s life will also be changed forever. She stated, even though it might not have been his original idea, he was a part of the planning and carrying out of the shooting.
Outside the courtroom, Cache County Attorney James Swink said he appreciated Judge Fonnesbeck’s consideration of all the evidence for both defendant’s hearings.
“She has weighed it fairly and she has been careful to make a very sound decision that was founded in law,” Swink said. “We appreciate her careful consideration of the evidence and her careful drafting of a sound decision to transfer these minors over to the adult system.”
As part of her ruling, Judge Fonnesbeck ordered the defendant to be arraigned in adult court Thursday afternoon. She also ordered him to remain in the Juvenile Detention Center, being held without bail.
Afterwards, defense attorney David Perry said it was unfair the defendant didn’t stay in the juvenile system.
“The United States and Somalia are the only two countries in the world that put juveniles in prison,” said Perry. “He is only 16-years-old. If he goes to prison, by the time he gets out it will be 17-years as the testimony said yesterday, before he can even be thought of being released. That is longer than he is old.”
During the ruling, the defendant sat in shackles and handcuffs, crying and drying his eye with tissues.
Later outside the courtroom, Swink acknowledged this has been emotionally draining on everyone, especially the Turner family. He said prosecutors are going to work to try and resolve both cases as quickly as possible.
“We hope that it’s not delayed too long,” stated Swink. “The family would like to see this resolved as soon as possible because of the emotional nature of these hearings and court, and all those things.
“They would like to let the court know that they would like to move, as a victim, this matter forward as fast as possible so they can have some closure, and the state will work for that. We will do our very best to bring this to a closure as soon as we can.”
On Monday, Judge Fonnesbeck ruled that the co-defendant in the case would also be tried as an adult. Both teenagers are expected to be arraigned in 1st District Court at 2:30 p.m. They are both charged with attempted aggravated murder, attempted burglary, and obstructing justice.
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