Colorado Teen Spend Weeks in Utah Jail for Second Degree Theft of a Vehicle

Two teens from Colorado have been charged in Utah with second degree theft of a vehicle and one teen has been unable to return home for over six weeks.

Utah traffic stop

19 year old Darrell Mitchell of Denver, Colorado and 19 year old Chanel Wideman of the neighboring suburb of Aurora, Colorado were both detained following a traffic stop south of St. George, Utah in early April. The duo were driving over twenty miles above the speed limit prompting a Utah Highway Patrol officer to initiate the stop. Once stopped, the UHP officer discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen from the Denver International Airport. A search was made on the vehicle where a stolen firearm, marijuana, and a large quantity of prescription medication was located in the vehicle as well. Mitchell and Wideman were both detained for multiple felonies including second degree felony theft of a vehicle.

Theft of a Vehicle and other felonies

During questioning, both Mitchell and Wideman claimed personal ownership of the vehicle, firearm, and drugs. Consequently, both were charged. The teens both face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges for the theft of the vehicle, drugs, and the firearm. Theft of vehicle is defined by Utah Code 76-6-412 as a second degree felony, punishable by one to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. The firearm by a restricted person charge is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine as high as $5,000. The drugs with intent is also a third degree felony, with an additional fine and possible prison term added.

Jailed away from home

Both of the teens broke the law and were fittingly arrested. Unfortunately however, Wideman was not financially able to pay the bail and afford the multiple trips back to Utah so she has been sitting in a Utah jail over 600 miles away from her home, family, friends, and job. Wideman would have gone home and returned for her various hearings, yet Utah courts considers her a flight risk as she resides in another state. For this reason her bail has not been reduced like it was for Mitchell, and she remains in Utah. Teens who are barely adults and are free to travel nationwide without their parents should be aware of the laws in which they visit and all the various repercussions should they be placed in jail away from home.

Child Abuse Homicide Charges Likely For Teen Babysitter in Utah

A 16 year old Utah teen accused of shaking a baby in his care could be facing child abuse homicide charges after the infant died following being taken off life support.

In his care

Photo by: Morgan

The teenager, who is unnamed due to his age was taking care of the 5 month old baby girl and her two year old brother at their home in West Valley City when the baby stopped breathing. The infant was rushed to the hospital where it was determined that she had been shaken by the teenage babysitter. The baby was taken off life support after it was determined her injuries were too severe. She then sadly passed away.

Child abuse homicide

Authorities said the boy was being held on child abuse charges pending a potential change to homicide if the baby ended up not making it. Now that she has died, the charged against the boy could be enhanced to child abuse homicide. Utah Code 76-5-208 states “Criminal homicide constitutes child abuse homicide if, under circumstances not amounting to aggravated murder . . . the actor causes the death of a person under 18 years of age and the death results from child abuse,
(a) if the child abuse is done recklessly. . . [it is a first degree felony];
(b) if the child abuse is done with criminal negligence . . .[it is a second degree felony]:
(c) if, under circumstances not amounting to the type of child abuse homicide described in Subsection [A], the child   abuse is done intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence . . . .[it is also a second degree         felony].”

Know your limits

According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, “SBS/AHT [Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma] is the leading cause of physical child abuse deaths in the U.S.” Taking care of an infant or a small child can be very difficult, especially if the baby cries incessantly or behaves contrary to how the person caring for them would want them to. Most caretakers practice soothing techniques and other methods to bring happiness to both the child and the caretaker. Even then, sometimes the crying or unwanted behavior continues. Caretakers are encouraged to know their limits and take the appropriate time and space needed to ensure they can handle the situation with the young child safely and appropriately. Teens who may be dealing with surges and fluctuations of hormones known to cause irritability and even moments of rage should decide whether or not child care is something they should be participating in. Any teens facing charges for grave mistakes regarding children in their care should consult with a juvenile defense attorney immediately.

Babysitter arrested for Child Pornography Charges

A Washington babysitter has been arrested for child pornography charges after police discovered she had been sharing multiple pictures depicting sexual acts with children.

Babysitter for hire

18 year old Victoria Del Carmon of Pierce County, Washington was arrested last week after authorities discovered she had been downloading and sharing sexually explicit images of children online. Police were concerned to discover that Del Carmon was a babysitter for hire, posting her availability for services on websites such as the popular Care.com. Upon searching Del Carmon’s home, police found doll parts, diapers and other items for babies as well as digital recordings of conversations discussing sexual acts with children.

Child Pornography

Police are worried due to Del Carmon’s babysitting history, that there may be other children out there who have been victimized. Until they discover other cases, Del Carmon is being charged with four counts of possession of child pornography. In the state of Utah, possession of child pornography is known as sexual exploitation of a minor. Utah Code 76-5b-201 states “A person is guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor:when the person:
(i) knowingly produces, possesses, or possesses with intent to distribute child pornography; or
(ii) intentionally distributes or views child pornography. . .”
Sexual exploitation of a minor is a second degree felony. Enhanced charges occur when the person guilty is a parent or legal guardian.

References and nanny cams

Parents who entrust the care of their children to strangers are encouraged to seek multiple references and install nanny cams to ensure their children are not being abused. Caretakers and babysitters arrested for crimes against children they watch should immediately consult with an attorney.

15 Year old Utah Teen Playing With Shotgun Arrested For Felony Manslaughter of Brother

A 15 year old Kearns, Utah teen was arrested for felony manslaughter after the boy was playing with a shotgun and fired a deadly shot at his step-brother.

Dangerous play

16 year old Jerrad Jacobsen and his 15 year old step-brother were in Jacobsen’s bedroom with a loaded weapon before school when Jacobsen was fatally shot in the head. The original statement from the step-brother stated Jacobsen accidentally shot himself while the step-brother was turned around but the story was later revised to affirm the 15 year old was the one with the gun. The mother of the deceased claims the shooting to be non-accidental, yet intent to kill has not been proven. Police have arrested and charged the step-brother with second degree manslaughter as well as obstruction of justice.

Manslaughter

After police again questioned the teen about the fatal incident, the step-brother admitted he was the one with shotgun. He told police he pointed the gun at Jacobsen and pulled the trigger. The teen claims it was an accident as he was unaware the gun was loaded. Even if the death was an accident, it was something that could have been avoided had the teen not been behaving in a careless manner. The 15 year old is charged with “. . . recklessly caus[ing] the death of another”, which Utah Code 76-5-205 defines as manslaughter, a second degree felony. At this time, investigators have not found evidence to support the claim that Jacobsen’s death was done on purpose. If the step-brother’s actions are found to be intentional, he could face first-degree homicide charges.

Obstruction of justice

The 15 year old step-brother is also facing a third degree felony for obstruction of justice since he initially lied to police about who had the gun when it went off. Utah Code 76-8-306 states: “An actor commits obstruction of justice if the actor, with intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the investigation, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of any person regarding conduct that constitutes a criminal offense:. . . provides false information regarding a suspect, a witness, the conduct constituting an offense, or any other material aspect of the investigation.”

Gun safety and education

This fatal incident is a reminder to all parents to teach their children about gun safety and to ensure that any firearms in the home are unloaded and out of children’s reach. Teens who may be in regular control of a firearm under a parent’s guidance should participate in a gun education course to help ensure they practice responsible behavior around firearms and know how to safely handle and unload a weapon. Any teens facing legal trouble should consult with an attorney who can help guide  them to be honest during questioning  without further incriminating themselves of a crime .

Aggravated Assault Charges for Utah Teen who Attacked Pregnant Girlfriend

A Utah teen has been charged with aggravated assault for an attack on his pregnant girlfriend that was done in the hopes to cause a miscarriage.

Attack on pregnant girlfriend

Photo by: Ernestro Andrade

18 year old Trevor Knudson of St. George, Utah was arrested after his 16 year old girlfriend contacted police stating that she had been physically assaulted. The teen who is pregnant with Knudson’s child told police that Knudson wanted her to miscarry and so he proceeded to punch and kick the pregnant teen in the stomach multiple times before throwing her against a wall. Knudson, who was not said to be represented by an attorney, openly agreed with the victim’s statement to police.

Aggravated assault

Knudson was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on charges of aggravated assault which is defined by Utah Code 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 or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another; and . . . includes the use of a dangerous weapon . . . any act that impedes the breathing or the circulation of blood . . . or other means of force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury.”

Felony charges

Police have not released any information on condition of the pregnant teen or the unborn baby other than the fact that she waited until the morning after the incident to contact police. Additionally, Knudson was booked on third degree aggravated assault charges; charges that would have been enhanced to second degree had the assault resulted in serious bodily injury. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine no greater than $5,000. Anyone facing criminal charges such as aggravated assault should seek an attorney prior to police questioning. Soon to be parents of any age who may feel distraught or anxious about the upcoming birth of a child are encouraged to contact their local health department for helpful options such as parenting classes or mental health services.