Felony Discharge of a Weapon Charge for Utah Teen Who Shot Up Home After an Argument

A Utah teen is facing felony discharge of a weapon and attempted murder charges after he shot up a home where he had a argument with the homeowner hours earlier.

Photo by: neekoh.fi

Exchanging words with bullets

18 year old Joshua Baer of Springville, Utah was arrested after he opened fire on a home, striking one of the residents in the head. The husband of the wounded woman stated to police that he had gotten into a heated exchange of words with Baer earlier in the day. Later on, after investigating a strange noise outside, the husband saw someone who looked like Baer pointing a gun at the house. The man shut the door quickly, but Baer unleashed several bullets at the home, striking the man’s wife in the head. The wife was rushed to a local hospital where she is expected to survive and Baer was charged with felony discharge of a weapon and attempted murder.

Felony discharge of a weapon

The attempted murder charge of Baer is a first degree felony, punishable by five years to life in prison and a fine of $10,000. He also faces another first degree felony for felony discharge of a weapon. Utah Code 76-10-508.1 states “an individual who discharges a firearm is guilty of a third degree felony punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than three years nor more than five years if:

  1. the actor discharges a firearm in the direction of one or more individuals, knowing or having reason to believe that any individual may be endangered by the discharge of the firearm;
  2. the actor, with intent to intimidate or harass another or with intent to damage a habitable structure as defined in Section 76-6-101, discharges a firearm in the direction of any individual or habitable structure; or
  3. the actor, with intent to intimidate or harass another, discharges a firearm in the direction of any vehicle.”

That section goes on to explain that if anyone is injured during the felony discharge of a weapon, the charges increase to a second degree felony. If anyone is seriously injured, the charges increase further to a first degree felony.”

Photo by: muffinn

Rage with a weapon

Authorities have not released what words were exchanged between Baer and the homeowner. Whatever was said however was enough to spark rage in Baer for him to return later with a weapon. Many teens experience instances of rage and increased irritability as a result of changing hormones. While this is part of growing up, decisions made while angry can be life changing. Teens need to be educated in ways to safely and effectively handle their changing emotions to prevent instances they may regret for the rest of their lives. Any teens facing criminal charges for crimes committed during bouts of rage are encouraged to seek legal counsel from a juvenile defense attorney.

Utah Teen Charged with Attempted Murder Following Family Argument

A Utah teen has been charged with attempted murder following a heated family argument.

Family dispute

Photo by: SaminatorH

18 year old Tristan Olsen and his father both of Vernal Utah were engaged in a verbal argument when things quickly intensified. It is not known at this time whether or not the two began physically assaulting each other first, but what ended the argument was when the younger Olsen attacked his father with a knife, stabbing him multiple times. After the father and son went outside to smoke together, they told the mother who called for an ambulance. The father was taken to the hospital where he is in stable condition and Tristan Olsen was booked into the Uintah County Jail for attempted homicide.

Attempted murder

According to Utah Code 76-4-101, “. . . a person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime [such as murder] if he:
(a) Engages in conduct constituting a substantial step toward commission of the crime; and
(b)
(i) intends to commit the crime; or
(ii) when causing a particular result is an element of the crime, he acts with an awareness that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause that result.”
That section also goes on to note that “. . . conduct constitutes a substantial step if it strongly corroborates the actor’s mental state [as acting with awareness of the potential result of the conduct].”

Attempted murder or something else

According to young Olsen, his father was the first to reach for the knife used in the attack. If this information proves correct, Olsen could have been acting in self-defense which is not punishable if “. . . the person reasonably believes that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the person . . . against another person’s imminent use of unlawful force.” If any witnesses or the victim do not collaborate with that story, Olsen could still see a lessened charge since his actions were done during a heated argument when emotions were heightened. Like most teens who lash out at their parents, it is likely that Olsen didn’t intend to do his father harm. An experienced attorney can ensure Olsen receives the mental health services he needs while making sure he is represented fairly in court.

Drive-By Shootings with No Injuries Results in Attempted Murder Charges

After a series of drive-by shootings took place in Layton, Utah with no injuries being reported, multiple teens involved in the gang-related shootings were arrested for attempted murder.

Drive-by Shootings

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Three separate drive-by shootings took place within a 10 day period in Layton, Utah and police believe the incident stemmed from retaliation from two rival gangs in the area. Following the third shooting, two 18 year olds and a 17 year old were arrested for various charges including attempted murder.

Attempted murder

Although no one was harmed during the multiple drive-by shootings, the three teens are facing charges for attempted murder. Utah Code 76-4-101 states “. . . a person is guilty of an attempt to commit a crime if he:

(a) Engages in conduct constituting a substantial step toward commission of the crime; and

(b) (i) Intends to commit the crime; or

(c) (ii) When causing a particular result is an element of the crime, he acts with an awareness that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause that result.”

Intent to cause death

After talking to witnesses, investigators have decided the two individuals who fired the weapons did so in order to cause serious injury or death to the individuals in the homes fired upon. Additionally, the other teen charged was the driver at one of the incidents and therefore determined to be aware of what was taking place. The two 18 year old were booked into the Davis County jail while the 17 year old was taken to a juvenile detention center.

Skirmish between Groups of Teens in West Jordan Ends in Shooting

A skirmish between two groups of teens in West Jordan ended in a shooting last week and felony charges could be pending for one young juvenile.

Fight escalates

Photo by: Peter Anderson

One teen was shot and another arrested after a fight broke out between two groups of teens in West Jordan last Sunday evening. The incident, which is said to not be gang-related started for unknown reasons but quickly escalated to rocks being thrown and a gun being fired. One teen was shot multiple times and luckily did not have life-threatening injuries. Another teen who was said to be a 14 year old male was arrested and could face serious charges for shooting the other teen.

Aggravated Assault or worse

Authorities have not released what charges the teen is facing however it is possible the teen could face felony charges for either aggravated assault or a more serious offense such as attempted murder. Aggravated assault is defined by Section 76-5-103 as “conduct that is:

i. an attempt, with unlawful force or violence, to do bodily injury to another;
ii. a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or
iii. an act, committed with unlawful force of violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another; and

. . .that includes the use of:
i. a dangerous weapon . . . ;
ii. any act that impedes the breathing or the circulation of blood of another person. . . ;
iii. other means or force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury.

Aggravated assault is punishable as a third degree felony unless the victim is seriously injured or loses consciousness during the assault at which point the penalty faced would then be a second degree felony.

Increased charges if proven intent

If the teen pulling the trigger had better aim or had the victim been a foot more to one side, the shooting could have been deadly. Some may wonder if the risk of death from the crime would then constitute attempted murder, a first degree felony. Although shooting another individual is likely to cause death, it should not be considered attempted murder unless the shooter pulled the trigger with the intent to kill as stated in section 76-4-101. This pivotal question of intent is likely to arise during legal proceedings however which could dramatically increase the fine and prison term a defendant is facing. Anyone facing aggravated assault charges are encouraged to seek experienced legal representation immediately.

Teenager Attempts to Set off Bomb at Utah High School

Among the hundreds of teens threatening violence towards their schools over the last few weeks with five of those threats happening in Utah, one teen from southern Utah actually attempted to set off a bomb at a high school.

No warning

Photo by: Michael Rael

While many of the threats around the state and nation have been dismissed as teens wanting their spot in the limelight, one teen in southern Utah didn’t take to social media to gain attention from his peers by making a public threat-he carried out an unexpected attack that luckily didn’t work. The juvenile that hasn’t been named due to his age placed a backpack containing a homemade bomb and shrapnel in a busy lunchroom at Pine View High School in St. George. Fortunately for the possibly hundreds of students in the lunchroom at the time, the bomb malfunctioned. Another student noticed smoke coming from the bag and notified a teacher and school resource officer who removed the bomb and evacuated the school.

Criminal charges

Utah Code 76-10-402 states “A person who . . . intentionally or knowingly manufactures, possesses, sells, delivers, displays, uses, attempts to use, solicits the use of, or conspires to use a weapon of mass destruction or a delivery system for a weapon of mass destruction . . . is guilty of a first degree felony.” Due to the seriousness of the charges, the teen could face adult charges for attempting to bomb a school. He is also facing charges for vandalizing another Utah school and putting up an ISIS flag as it was determined during the investigation that he was likewise responsible for that.

Mental health for youth

Photo by: Boudewijn Berends

There is little information about the boy who attempted to bomb Pine View High School but from those that knew him, this act of terrorism came as a complete surprise. Assumptions are being made that the teen suffered from mental illnesses and along with criminal charges, many hope he receives the psychological help he needs.