LOGAN, Utah (AP) — The twin brother of a teenager charged with helping his friend plot to kill a 14-year-old girl said Tuesday that their parents’ divorce upset his brother and made him an angry person.
The boy testified Tuesday in Logan during the second day of a hearing to determine if the teenager’s case will be moved to adult court at the request of prosecutors.
He said his brother went to live with their father briefly before coming back unwilling to follow his mother’s rules, The Salt Lake Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2p3tEoK ).
He recalled a conversation he had with his brother and another boy while playing a violent video game about how it would be easier to get rid of a dead boy if the limbs were cut off. “He was just really angry,” the twin testified.
The Associated Press is not naming the boys because they are juveniles.
Prosecutors want the boy’s case in adult court because of the severity of the crime. They say the teenager, 16, wanted the victim, Deserae Turner, 14, to die, prodding his friend to pull the trigger in the February incident in Smithfield, Utah.
Defense attorney Shannon Demler argued that his client should stay in the juvenile court system because of his age and lack of criminal history.
Deserae nearly died after being shot in the head and left in a ditch in the small northern Utah town of Smithfield.
Her mother, April Turner, said Tuesday that her daughter’s left side including her arm and hand don’t function properly because of the traumatic injury to the right side of her brain. She cried as she explained how her daughter will never be able to drive and must be closely watched at all times because she’s at risk of falling or choking.
April Turner said doctors aren’t sure how much she’ll recover.
The twin brother acknowledged under cross-examination that one of their sisters was afraid to be home with her brother, even though he said he doesn’t consider his brother violent.
The teenager and his friend, also 16, have been charged with attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and obstruction of justice in the attack on Deserae. A hearing to determine if the case for second suspect will be moved to adult court is scheduled for a later date.
The teenagers targeted the girl because they were annoyed she was texting them, authorities have said.
Kirk Lambert, an officer with Utah Adult Probation & Parole, testified Tuesday that the teenager would need “major intervention” best done in the adult prison system to ensure he’s not a danger to the community in the future.
Under questioning by Demler about if the boy would be more at risk of being assaulted at the adult prison, Lambert said: “He’ll be exposed to harm. Whether it’s more than what’s in society, I can’t say.”
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com
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