Utah Teen Charged as an Adult for Drug Deal Murder

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

Photo by: frankieleon

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.

Gang ties

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.

Adult crimes

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.

15 Year Old Utah Teen Arrested for Discharging a Firearm near Riverdale Park

A 15 year old Utah boy has been arrested for discharging a firearm near a Riverdale park; a location that is also in close proximity to an elementary school.

Semi-automatic weapon at park

discharging a firearm
Photo by: Mike

On Tuesday evening, Riverdale police received multiple calls about gunshots being heard near Riverdale Park and Riverdale Elementary. Officers arrived to the scene and after a short police chase on foot, the 15 year old was apprehended. On his person was a semi-automatic weapon as well as an undisclosed quantity of ammunition. There is no information available on a possible reason behind the teen discharging the firearm. Fortunately nobody was hurt and no property has been reported damaged thus far.

Minor possession of a firearm

Although no one was injured, the 15 year old is likely to face multiple charges for discharging a firearm. Utah code 76-10-509 explains that “A minor under 18 years of age may not possess a dangerous weapon unless he:

(a) Has the permission of his parent or guardian to have the weapon; or

(b) Is accompanied by a parent or guardian while he has the weapon in his possession.”

A teen who violates this law faces a class B misdemeanor or Class A misdemeanor if he has already been charged for a similar crime. If the firearm in question had been a fully-automatic versus a semi-automatic, the teen would be facing a third degree felony.

Discharging a firearm

Photo by: Ian Carroll
Photo by: Ian Carroll

Utah Code 76-10-508.1 states that discharging a firearm is a third degree felony if the person in question shot towards a house, person, or vehicle or “with intent to intimidate or harass another”. If a person is injured those charges increase to a second degree felony; seriously injured, a first degree felony. Beyond Utah State law, the city of Riverdale Utah also has ordinances in place regarding discharging a firearm near a park. According to section 7-7-4 (a) of a public document put out by the Riverdale City regarding parks and trails, “No person in any park or river trail system shall: use firearms of any description including, but not limited to, air rifles, spring guns, bows and arrows, rockets, slings, paint guns, or any other forms of weapons potentially harmful to wildlife or dangerous to human safety.”

Federal charges

Discharging a firearm can bring an array of charges, even federal. According to information found on CONGRESS.GOV, the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990“Amends the Federal criminal code to impose criminal penalties for the possession or discharge of a firearm in a school zone ( . . . )”. With the many charges possible regarding discharging a firearm, parents of teens involved should take the matter seriously and solicit counsel from an experienced juvenile defense attorney.