Sentencing scheduled for teen shooter of Deserae Turner

Colter Peterson leaves the courtroom after pleading guilty to attempted aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, on Tuesday in Logan. Peterson shot Deserae Turner in February 2017, and left her for dead in a dry irrigation canal in Smithfield, Utah.

LOGAN — A judge has scheduled sentencing for Colter Peterson, hours after the co-defendant in the case accepted a plea deal. The 17-year-old Smithfield teenager who already admitted to shooting Deserae Turner in the back of the head and leaving her to die in a dry canal bed, could receive up to life in prison.

Peterson appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday afternoon for a status hearing. His public defender, Mike McGinnis asked for a sentencing date and requested that his client be moved back to the detention center in Cache County. He explained that since the co-defendant, 17-year-old Jayzon Decker, had pleaded guilty Tuesday morning, there wasn’t any reason for Peterson to still be housed at the Millcreek Detention Center.

Peterson and Decker concocted a plan to kill Turner while playing video games and discussing their desire to “get rid” of her. She was found with a gunshot wound to the head, early in the morning of February 17. She had reportedly been left to die in a dry canal east of Sky View High School.

Peterson was the gunman, shooting Turner in the back of the head with a .22 caliber revolver. Decker acted as lookout, letting Peterson know when it was clear to shoot Turner.

On October 10, Peterson accepted a plea deal, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, and robbery, a second-degree felony. As part of the plea agreement, state attorneys dropped four other charges against him of obstructing justice.

During Tuesday’s hearing, state attorney Spencer Walsh objected to Peterson being moved, telling the court the detention center in Cache County isn’t big enough to keep the two defendants separated. He also clarified that prosecutors would have subpoenaed Peterson to testify in Decker’s trial but it was not part of the plea deal arrangement.

Judge Kevin Allen explained that he moved Peterson because he worried the two defendants would collude with each other. He said, since both teenagers had pleaded guilty, that was no longer a concern. He scheduled the full day sentencing for February 9.

Earlier in a different courtroom, Decker appeared before 1st District Court Judge Brian Cannell. He pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. His sentencing was scheduled for February 7.

<hr /><p style=”text-align: center;”>will@cvradio.com

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