No Charges Filed For Utah Teen Who Made Threats of Violence Online

A Utah teen was released with no charges filed after an investigation into threats of violence he made online.

Report of planned school shooting

A male student at Emery High School in Utah used the social media app Snapchat to make threats of violence towards other classmates at his school. After seeing a Snapchat post that the teen was going to shoot other students, someone alerted police to the threat. The male teen responsible for the frightening post was detained while police investigated the alleged threat.

Taking threats seriously

There is no explanation as to why the teen made the threats toward his peers, however police determined the danger to not be credible. Police interviewed friends of the teen as well as those who may have seen the post on Snapchat. In a case like this, investigators likely searched the teen’s locker, phone, computer and home. Through the investigation however, there was no evidence that the teen actually planned on carrying out the attack. It was likely he said it in frustration or anger.

Threats of violence

According to Utah Code 76-5-107, A person may face class B misdemeanor charges for committing a “threat of violence if:

(a) The person threatens to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and acts with intent to place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or death; or

(b) The person makes a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force of violence, to do bodily injury to another.”

Although the teen made a verbal or written threat of violence, he didn’t act towards the threat at all and was released without charges. The teen didn’t escape unscathed however. He is facing serious backlash from his peers as well as the community. It is important to teach children the criminal as well as social consequences that can occur from making threats of violence towards others. Teens who end up facing charges are encouraged to seek legal counsel with their parents or guardians.

Robbery Plan in Utah Results in First-Degree Felony Charges for Teens

A teen who made a plan to kidnap and rob his old roommate in Utah is now sitting in the Salt Lake County Jail charged with multiple offenses including first-degree felony charges.

Robbery and a beating

Photo by: Geoffrey Fairchild

18 year old Eduardo Michael Miranda-Carmona who the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office list as being a citizen of Mexico got together with a few friends and planned a robbery of someone who used to be his roommate. The roommate was jumped while leaving work, stabbed, tied up, and thrown into the back of a vehicle. There Miranda-Carmona and friends robbed the man at gunpoint, used his credit cards illegally, and dumped him to be found by a Utah policeman on patrol.

First, Second, and Third-degree felonies

The man who was robbed knew Miranda-Carmona as the two were old coworkers and roommates. This, along with security footage likely helped detectives to quickly identify and arrest Miranda-Carmona. He is currently in the Salt Lake County Jail with multiple felony and misdemeanor charges including:

• First-degree aggravated robbery with a weapon (76-6-302);

• First-degree aggravated kidnapping (76-5-302);

• Second-degree aggravated assault resulting in bodily injury (76-5-103);

• Third-degree unlawful acquisition or possession of a finance card (76-6-506.3); as well as

• Contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a class B misdemeanor.

Three other teens involved

Over the next few weeks, police were able to identify and arrest 19 year old John Ewing as well as two under age juveniles in the aggravated robbery case. With multiple felony offenses including two first degree felony charges, all four teens are looking at several years to life in prison for what appears to be a vindictive and maybe financially motivated crime, coordinated by one.

Multiple Felony Charges for 18+ Teens Looking to “Score Weed”

Three teens 18+ in age who were attempting to “score weed” are now facing multiple felony charges for kidnapping and robbing a 17 year old minor in Magna, Utah earlier this month.

Looking for Marijuana

Photo by: Chuck Grimmett
Photo by: Chuck Grimmett

18 year old David Saul Gonzalez-Reyes, 19 year old Eduardo Flores-Loeza, and 19 year old Alisha Jimenez were arrested last week after they met a 17 year old female in a grocery store parking lot who was there to sell marijuana. After they entered the minor’s vehicle, one of the teens struck the minor in the face with a handgun and forced her to drive to a nearby residence where they continued their crime spree by physically assaulting and robbing two individuals at that house.

Multiple Felony Charges = Possible Life in Prison

The trio of older teens was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail with each facing:

Aggravated assault, a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison;

Aggravated burglary, a first degree felony that carries a possible prison term of five years to life;

• Aggravated robbery, a first degree felony that may add on another five years to life;

Aggravated kidnapping, another first degree felony punishable by what Utah code 76-5-302 states to be “not less than 15 years and which may be for life”.

Multiple Felony Charges
Photo by: Office of Public Affairs

Although all teens are facing the same multiple felony charges, it is not clear what role each played in the alleged kidnapping, assault, and robbery. It is also not known whether or not the teens knew the minor or the individuals who were at the home prior to the scheduled drug deal. If convicted of the multiple felony charges, the teens who are barely old enough to vote could spend the rest of their lives in jail because they wanted to get high.

Fight Nights Remain Popular among Teens and Everyone is talking about it

As a popular, yet absurd way to pass the time, fight nights remain popular among Utah teens and everyone is talking about it, even parents.

Boredom buster

Fight Nights
Photo by: Milos Milosevic

Fight nights became popular after the 1999 film Fight Club that glorified organized violence as a fun activity to pass the time. Nearly two decades later, these violent get togethers continue to be a favorite pastime and the younger generation is keeping it going strong. A group of teens in southern Utah recently participated in a fight club as a way to kick off the summer during senior sunrise.

Organized violence

Most fight nights in Utah are at least somewhat organized as someone thinks enough of it to bring boxing gloves to a get together. There are many times when fight nights are well thought out and planned, with some events demanding an entrance fee to participate or view.

Physical injuries

While physical injury is expected, teens often don’t understand that fight nights don’t always end with a simple split lip or bloody nose. Concussions, knocked out teeth, and broken noses or other bones are common and can have unexpected recovery times and medical costs. Beyond physical injuries, these types of events can also damage a teen emotionally.

Emotional injuries

Photo by: Ian T. Macfarland
Photo by: Ian T. Macfarland

While some fight nights only see contestants fighting who desired to participate, others may involve someone calling another person out and putting them on the spot to fight or flee. Teens who originally had no intention to fight may feel pressured to participate to save themselves from being humiliated. Others who refuse or those who lose mercilessly may be publicly taunted and tormented by their peers.

Criminal charges for fight nights

If physical and emotional injuries aren’t enough to deter teens from participating in fight nights, maybe criminal charges will get their attention. Utah Code 63N-10-306 states that “Club fighting is prohibited. Any person who publicizes, promotes, conducts, or engages in a club fighting match is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.” Those charges could result in a year behind bars and a fine of up to $2,500. Parents who allow or even supervise their teens to participate in fight nights can also face criminal charges. As teens attempt to fill their summer with fun and exciting activities, it is important to discourage organized violence as a way to beat the summer boredom.

Can Compressed Air Guns Be Used on Small Wildlife?

Small wildlife such as birds and rabbits are often used as target practice for young Utah residents who wish to sharpen their skills with compressed air guns. The problem is: it may be illegal.

Compressed air guns

Compressed Air Guns
Photo by: Gordon

BB guns, pellet guns, and airsoft rifles, are all almost weapons that are used frequently by minors without much regulation and training. Unfortunately, this lack of training on these pseudo weapons leaves many juveniles unaware of the law regarding what they are allowed to shoot and where. Before risking legal penalties for using compressed air guns on small animals, youth and their parents are encouraged to research the laws where they live.

Protected wildlife

Although compressed air guns are not considered firearms in the state of Utah, they still have the potential to cause bodily injury or even death to small animals. Before kids decide to take out the annoying bird in the bushes next door, they should first find out if the animal is a protected species. Hundreds of animals are considered protected, from those who are domesticated pets or livestock to others who are protected under the Endangered Species Act or Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

City limits

If an animal is a nuisance animal or a pest and not protected in any way, it may be lawful to use compressed air guns on the animal, however minors should always check with an adult first. Another factor that must be considered and discussed with a knowledgeable adult prior to using compressed air guns is whether or not it is lawful to discharge them within city limits. Many cities including Salt Lake City prohibit the use of “any gun, revolver, or firearm of any kind or nature, or airgun ( . . . ) unless upon a place specifically designed exclusively for the use of any such type instrument.” (SLC Ordinance 11.48.030)

Seek information

For those seeking more information related to compressed air guns or about shooting small wildlife, the Utah Division of Wildlife and local city offices should be able to clarify what is considered lawful use of compressed air guns. If it is after the fact, and a person needs information regarding legal complications surrounding the use of compressed air guns, they are encouraged to contact a juvenile defense attorney.