A young Utah man who was just 16-years-old when he shot and killed a fellow Kearns High School student has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter.
The now 19-year-old has spent the last three years in custody while awaiting trial. His attorney and the prosecutors recently agreed on a plea deal, which includes a promise from the prosecution that they will recommend the manslaughter charge be reduced to a third-degree felony at the young man’s sentencing hearing in August. Manslaughter is normally charged as a second-degree felony. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped the other charges against the teen.
Reports indicate that the teenager may not have been trying to kill anyone when he fired his gun in the victim’s direction. Nevertheless, the suspect’s attorney agreed that a life was taken and his client was the one with the gun.
The defense attorney will not make a request that his client be credited for time served at the August sentencing. However, he is free to ask the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole for that consideration.
This case is an excellent example of why all juveniles charged with a crime should be represented by a Utah juvenile defense attorney. The young man in question was facing a murder trial, and now will serve a maximum of five years in prison if the court grants the third-degree felony change request.
Everyone deserves legal representation and kids are no exception. In many cases juveniles can make positive changes in their lives and don’t need excessive confinement. If your child is in legal trouble, take the time to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney.