The trial has been set for a Utah teen charged as an adult for shooting an 18 year old over a drug deal.
Minor drug transaction
In February 2017, 17 year old Issac NacDaniel Patton went to the home of 18 year old Tristan Mogedam to purchase marijuana. During the transaction, Patton brandished a firearm and demanded anything else Mogedam had to offer. Patton then fired several shots at Mogedam as the young drug dealer attempted to retreat inside his residence. One of those shots struck Mogedam in the back, piercing his heart. Mogedam was later pronounced dead.
The sale of marijuana between the 17 and 18 year old was a minor transaction, causing authorities to wonder why it escalated to shots being fired. Patton later told police that he was in a gang and thought the young drug dealer was in a rival gang. Since the crime was gang related, charges against Patton were enhanced.
Charged as an adult
Due to the nature of the charges against Patton as a minor, his case was sent to district court and he was officially charged as an adult with his name going public. Utah Code 78A-6-701 states “The district court has exclusive original jurisdiction over all persons 16 years of age or older charged with an offense that would be murder or aggravated murder if committed by an adult.” Patton is also facing other felony charges:
- aggravated robbery, another first degree felony;
- second degree felony discharge of a firearm, and
- third degree possession of a firearm by a restricted person.
Along with the murder charge, Patton’s other first degree felony and second degree felony would also qualify him as a serious youth offender as stated in Section 78A-6-702 meaning he would be charged as an adult. His four day trial in Salt Lake 3rd District Court is set for January 28, 2020.
Many teens falsely assume their young age grants them immunity against prison time. Any parents with teens who have committed crimes in which they could be charged as an adult should consult immediately with a juvenile defense attorney who preferably handles cases in district court as well.