Troubled Youth Responsible for Death of Rehab Staff Member

A troubled youth who was being held at a rehab in Escalante Utah is responsible for the death of a staff member at the youth crisis facility.

Troubled youth attempts an escape

Troubled Youth
Photo by: bark

17 year old Clay Brewer, whose name was released following adult murder charges, had only been at the Turn-About Ranch for less than a week when he tried to escape, killing 60 year old Jimmy Woolsey in the process. Brewer told investigators he was addicted to prescription pills and “lost his mind” as he was going through intense withdrawals. Brewer first attempted to take his own life the night before by drinking bleach, then decided the next day to make a run for it.

Beaten to death

Brewer somehow got hold of large metal pole or stick, perhaps something near the fire pit he was near along with other teens, and beat Woolsey to death when the 60 year old man attempted to stop him. He also hit another staff member a couple times until she gave him the keys to a car. Brewer then ceased his aggressive actions and sped off. After leading police on a high speed chase, Brewer was eventually stopped. Even then, the troubled youth tried to commit suicide by cop by acting as though he were pulling a gun on officers. Law enforcement officials did not take the bait and arrested Brewer instead.

Charged as adult

Photo Courtesy of Facebook
Photo Courtesy of Facebook

The 17 year old teenager who according to Facebook had a love of all things Major League Baseball was sent to Turn-About Ranch by his family most likely for his addiction to prescription pills. Instead of receiving treatment and returning to his family, Brewer is now facing a series of charges, including aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. In a withdrawal induced panic, Brewer took a life and will now probably lose his own to a lifetime behind bars.

Relaxed facility

While the hearts of all go out to the family of Jimmy Woolsey, it is difficult to not feel sympathy for Brewer and his family as well. There are many questions that Brewer’s family may be thinking such as:

• What was being done to help Brewer cope with his withdrawal symptoms?

• Why did he have access to dangerous items such as bleach and the metal pole?

• Should he have been in a stricter facility?
• What if he hadn’t been sent to the Turn-About Ranch in the first place?

While Brewer’s family is probably feeling guilt for their decision to send their troubled youth to a facility which is far more relaxed than others throughout the state, what’s done is done and now their son will face the consequences. Hopefully their troubled youth will now be able to get the treatment he needs to battle his drug addiction.

Joyriding in Stolen Vehicle Leads to Death of a Police Officer

Authorities have announced that three Utah teenagers who were joyriding in a stolen vehicle are the ones responsible for the death of a West Valley police officer.

Struck by stolen vehicle

Officer struck by stolen vehicle
Photo by: Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916

A report of a stolen vehicle during the early morning hours on Sunday November 6th prompted a quick response by law enforcement. During the short police chase, 25 year old Officer Cody Brotherson exited his vehicle to set up spike strips when the thieves struck Officer Brotherson with the stolen vehicle, killing him. The teens then lost control of the stolen vehicle and were apprehended shortly after.

Not even old enough to drive

The three teenage boys who were responsible for killing Officer Brotherson with the stolen vehicle were not even old enough to drive; two of the teens were 15 years old and the third was only 14. It is not known at this time whether or not the teens deliberately hit Officer Brotherson or if it was a result of poor vision and/or inexperienced drivers.

Possible charges

Although there is no word yet on what kind of charges the teens could be facing, their joyride in a stolen vehicle may end with charges such as:

• Driving without a license, an infraction (53-3-202),
• Driving without vehicle insurance, a class C misdemeanor (41-12a-302)
• Unauthorized control of a motor vehicle (joyriding) that is used to commit a felony, a third degree felony (41-1a-1314),
• Theft of a vehicle, a second degree felony (76-6-412),
• Fleeing police with said action resulting in death or bodily injury of another person, second degree felony ( 41-6a-210),
• Manslaughter, a second degree felony (76-5-205),
• Reckless conduct which results in the murder of a police officer, a first degree felony (76-5-203), and/or
• Aggravated murder, a capital felony (76-5-202). This grave charge is a possibility if investigators determine the teens intentionally hit and killed Officer Brotherson.

A Joyride that was not so joyful

Photo by: David K.
Photo by: David K.

These young Utah teenagers probably didn’t expect their joyride in a stolen vehicle to end in the death of a police officer. It is important for youth to know that there are almost always consequences to poor choices; the penalties for these teens are expected to include criminal charges as well as the life-long guilt from taking another’s life.

19 Year Old Charged in Triple Homicide

19 year old Gerald Grant was charged with murder for the triple homicide that took place in South Salt Lake earlier this month. His attorney stated he was acting in self-defense.

Gunfire in a closed vehicle

Triple Homicide
Photo by: Peter Anderson

Police are still investigating the triple homicide that resulted in the death of a 17 year old teenager and his friends, 19 and 20 year old brothers. At this time it is known that an altercation erupted in a car in which the three friends and Grant were riding in together. The car stopped abruptly, gunfire took place inside, and all parties were injured.

Leaving the scene of a crime

The three critically injured friends stayed on scene while Grant left and later checked himself into a local hospital. The 17 year old and the brothers ended up succumbing to their injuries while Grant was originally listed in serious condition. Authorities were able to locate two guns found at the scene. Both weapons allegedly belonged to Grant yet he was not the only shooter. At this time, authorities have not determined who shot first and if anyone including Grant acted on self-defense.

Photo by: Tex Texin
Photo by: Tex Texin

Wounded and bragging?

Grant who suffered from a gunshot wound to his left leg appeared to be only a victim in the shooting until witnesses came forward with hearsay. They claimed Grant openly confessed to be the shooter in the triple homicide. Currently, their hearsay is the only evidence against Grant; hearsay and the fact that he is the only survivor of the shooting.

Murder or self-defense for triple homicide

Photo by: Matt Reinbold
Photo by: Matt Reinbold

If Grant’s attorney can prove that he was not the one who provoked the shootout and that he was only trying to defend himself, he may face charges for possession of the firearms and leaving the scene of a crime, but not for murder. If Grant’s attorney is unable to show beyond a reasonable doubt that he acted in Self-defense, Grant could be facing three first degree felonies for aggravated murder, each punishable by 5 years to life in prison.

Utah Teen Will Not Face Death Penalty for Aggravated Murder

While he is likely to be tried as an adult, a Utah teen charged with aggravated murder will not face the death penalty.

Lured into the night

Just before midnight on July 17, after trying the homes of a couple other girls in the neighborhood, a 15 year old Utah boy (unnamed due to his age) knocked on the door where 12 year old Kailey Vijil lived. He asked Vijil if she would help him find his lost cat and then lured her into a field and strangled her to death. Because he had been spotted earlier trying to lure other girls out of their homes, the suspect was quickly detained and later charged with aggravated murder.

Photo by: Paige
Photo by: Paige

Charged and sentenced as adult

Because of how serious this crime was, the boy will likely be charged as an adult for aggravated murder. Regardless of the offense, the death penalty is never an option for juveniles who are under the age of 18. Many oppose this, arguing that if juveniles are charged as adults they should be punished as such.

Too young for the death penalty

Regarding the death penalty for juveniles, the Supreme Court decided in 2005 (Roper v. Simmons) that “When a juvenile offender commits a heinous crime, the State can exact forfeiture of some of the most basic liberties, but the State cannot extinguish his life and his potential to attain a mature understanding of his own humanity.”

A good defense and counseling equals a future

The Supreme Court realized that although kids can perform grave crimes, they are not mature yet and should still have opportunity to grow up. For parents who have a teen facing serious charges such as aggravated murder, contact a criminal defense attorney and seek professional counseling. By receiving help young versus the death penalty, the teen be punished fairy for their mistakes but have a chance in the future to become a positive citizen of society.

New Motions Filed in Megan Grunwald Aggravated Murder Case

Megan Grunwald aggravated murder
Utah County Sheriff’s Department/Daily Mail

In a recent development in the aggravated murder case of Megan Grunwald, defense attorneys and the prosecution have filed new motions to try to prove the intentions of Grunwald. The defense maintains that Grunwald was an unwilling participant in the Jan. 30, 2014, crime spree that led to the shooting death of Utah County Sheriff Sgt. Cory Wride and ultimately the death of Grunwald’s boyfriend, 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui.

Juvenile Faces Adult Aggravated Murder Charges

According to a report from KSL News, the new defense motions refer to previously unreleased statements made by Grunwald at the time of the arrest. The defense claims that several different statements Grunwald made to arresting officers seem to indicate that she had been kidnapped and forced to go with Garcia, including Grunwald’s first words to police when she was apprehended.

“He kidnapped me!” Grunwald reportedly stated. “He had a gun and he told me if I didn’t come with him, he would kill me!”

The police officer to whom Grunwald made those statements went on to report that she said Garcia told her “he would kill her and her family” and that “stuff was gonna happen if she didn’t go on a ride.”

Other motions filed in the case included statements from Grunwald to similar extents, including saying that she tried to tell Garcia to stop and how she felt like she was “just in the wrong place, with the wrong person, at the wrong time.”

Another motion filed by the defense stated that the blood sample collected when she was arrested was unlawful and should be suppressed from trial. The defense claims that Utah Highway Patrol trooper exaggerated the facts and failed to show probable cause for the crime of aggravated murder required for the warrant.

The prosecution has also filed a motion which includes a phone call made by Garcia to an uncle in Texas shortly after Wride was killed, during which Garcia allegedly said he was with his “girlfriend’s people. They are protecting me.” However, defense attorney Rhome Zabriski called the information in the motion “speculative, argumentative, and theoretical.”

While she is 18 currently, Grunwald was a juvenile at the time she was charged with aggravated murder and other charges, but because of the nature of the crime, she is being tried as an adult. If convicted of aggravated murder at her upcoming trial, which is scheduled for the beginning of February, she could be sentenced to life in prison.