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Accused teen could be tried as adult
Jun 27, 2013 | 990 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print

WEST POINT — The 15-year-old boy arrested after his two younger brothers were stabbed to death in their home has been charged with two counts of murder, according to a press release from the Davis County Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors hope to charge the teen as an adult and would like to transfer jurisdiction to Utah’s second district court, County Attorney Troy Rawlings said in the Thursday, June 27 release.

“If a Juvenile Court Judge finds probable cause that the crimes were committed by the 15-year-old and then certifies him to stand trial as an adult (after assessing statutory factors), jurisdiction of the case will be in the Second District Court,” he said. “After assessing the matter, the judge may also decide it is more appropriate to keep the minor in the juvenile system.”

The mother of the Vidinhar found the bodies of her two boys after retuning home from running errands on May 22. Benjie, 4, and Alex, 10, were adopted. Police later found the older brother, a biological son, walking in a nearby city. He allegedly confessed after being taken into custody, and has been held since.

The case illustrates a “public policy problem” wherein the law requires criminals who were tried in juvenile court to be released when they turn 21 “and irrespective of any risk they may pose to public safety.” Alternatively, teens charged as adults and sentenced to prison time go into the adult system regardless of age.

“Neither of these alternatives is attractive,” Rawlings said in the release. “In a case such as this, one route or the other must be selected. Based on the evidence as we know it (which cannot be discussed outside of court), it is our view that concern for public safety is paramount.”

The attorney’s office will not comment further on the situation, according to the release.

“We express deep sympathy and are mindful that this is a devastating situation and

decision for the family involved.”

The teen’s attorney, public defender Todd Utzinger, did not immediately respond to messages left at his office asking for comment.

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