The Utah Court of Appeals recently reviewed a case appealed from a Utah juvenile court decision, A.H.F. v State of Utah. Utah juvenile court cases do not identify the name of the individual, so he is referred to “A.H.F.” This case involves a now 17-year-old young man who was 14 at the time of the incident he was allegedly involved in.
Early in 2009, A.H.F. and some adult companions allegedly decided to attempt to rob a drug dealer of $1500 they believed he had in his possession. They robbed and kidnapped the drug dealer, supposedly telling him that he would need to get them more money if he wanted to live. The victim contacted a friend and the two decided to rob another drug dealer. Instead, A.H.F. and his companions ended up kidnapping the friend and robbing him as well.
At some point, the juvenile and the other alleged kidnappers decided that the friend had too much knowledge of what they had done and that he needed to be taken care of. The friend and the drug dealer were driven to an empty golf course where it is alleged that A.H.F. fatally shot the friend. After a few other robberies, the drug dealer was able to escape and tell the police that A.H.F. was the gunman in the murder. The juvenile was charged with aggravated murder, among other charges.
A.H.F. v State of Utah
The appeal in A.H.F. v State of Utah came about because of a question by the defendant concerning the admissibility of hearsay evidence at A.H.F.’s Utah juvenile court certification hearing. The juvenile court remanded A.H.F. to district court, basing some of their reasoning on the hearsay evidence presented in a juvenile department report. The Court of Appeals decided that consideration of the hearsay evidence violated a rule of the Utah Rules of Juvenile Procedure and sent the case back to Utah juvenile court.
If a juvenile’s case goes to district court, that juvenile will be treated as an adult. When a juvenile’s case is adjudicated within Utah juvenile court, he can only be placed in juvenile custody until he turns 21, at which point he will be freed.
It is extremely important to have a Utah juvenile defense attorney guide your child through any proceedings, regardless of the nature of the alleged crime. An attorney will assist your child by insuring that the rules of law are followed by all parties involved in the case. Don’t wait until it’s too late; contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.
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