Four Utah teens were arrested for aggravated robbery of a drug dealer after demanding the illegal goods at gunpoint.
One 17 year old and three 18 year old teens were arrested in Layton, Utah after authorities were alerted they group had used a weapon to rob a drug dealer. The boys met with another 18 year old who was going to sell them THC extract. When the meeting took place, the teenage boys instead physically assaulted the dealer, pointed a gun at him, and left with the unlawful product.
The four teens were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery. Utah Code 76-6-302 states “A person commits aggravated robbery if in the course of committing robbery, he:
Uses or threatens to use a dangerous weapon . . . ;
Causes serious bodily injury upon another; or
Takes or attempts to take an operable motor vehicle.
Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony”, punishable with a hefty fine and five years to life in prison.
Possible distribution charges
It took several hours for the robbery to be reported by the drug dealing teen, likely due to him fearing for his own arrest. Although he eventually got up the courage to report the crime, he also put himself at risk of facing charges himself. Distribution of marijuana products is a third degree felony as stated by Utah Code 58-37-8. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to five years behind bars.
Every teen including the 17 year old involved in this deal gone bad could be facing time in prison. Had the charges not been as severe, such as a misdemeanor or even a lower felony, the youngest teen involved would ensure his case staying in the juvenile court system. Since aggravated robbery is listed in the Serious Youth Offender section of the Utah Code, he could end up being charged as an adult. Teens and barely adults who are facing serious charges should consult with an attorney who has experience in both the juvenile system as well as the district court to better handle cases that may switch from one court to another.
Several Salt Lake City kids trespassing at a school were charged with burglary and fleeing police after being turned in by their parents.
Missing school already
A passerby of Edison Elementary School in Salt Lake City alerted police when they observed several kids climbing a ladder to access the roof of the school just before midnight. Police responded and were able to apprehend most of the kids while a few ran off. Soon after the kids who ran came back accompanied by their parents. Authorities discovered the teens had broken a skylight on the roof to access the interior of the building and once inside, had stolen electronic items.The kids who were trespassing at the school after hours and during the off season were charged with burglary. The ones who ran and were caught by the police or their parents were charged with fleeing police.
Trespassing vs burglary
Although the kids had committed trespassing at the school, they were charged instead with burglary.
Trespassing – Utah Code 76-2-206 states “A person is guilty of criminal trespass if, under circumstances not amounting to burglary . . . the person enters or remains unlawfully on . . . property and intends to cause annoyance or injury to any person or damage to any property, including the use of graffiti .. . [or] intends to commit any crime, other than theft or a felony”. Since the kids did commit a theft, the trespassing charges are enhanced to burglary.
Burglary– According to Utah Code 76-6-202,”An actor is guilty of burglary who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or any portion of a building with intent to commit [a crime such as] a felony [or] a theft”.
Trespassing on building other than a dwelling is a class B misdemeanor. If someone trespasses and steals something, that is burglary and is punished as a third degree felony.
The teens were booked into a juvenile detention center where they await the repercussions of their actions.It is not known if the kids arrested for burglary had a previous criminal history or if this was just a poor decision made from summer boredom mixed with too much freedom and peer pressure. Regardless, they would greatly benefit from being represented by an experienced juvenile defense attorney.
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.
A 19 year old Utah teen has been arrested for attempted homicide charges after he hit intentionally hit a child on a scooter.
19 year old Steven Becky of Draper, Utah was driving erratically down the wrong side of the road when he saw an 11 year old girl walking her scooter. Becky then veered his vehicle from the left lane all the way to the right, striking the girl walking. Following the auto pedestrian accident, Becky was clearly under the influence of drugs and behaved in an aggressive manner to those on scene. When authorities questioned him, he waived his Miranda rights and admitted to hitting the girl intentionally.
Becky was booked into the Utah County Jail on multiple charges including second degree attempted homicide. 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) intends to commit the crime; or
(c) 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.”
Section 76-4-102 adds “Criminal attempt to commit [homicide] . . is a first degree felony punishable by imprisonment for . . . not fewer than three years and which may be for life”.
Under the influence of drugs not a defense
Police determined that Becky was under the influence of multiple drugs including some hallucinogenics. Utah Code 76-2-305 states “A person who asserts a defense of insanity or diminished mental capacity, and who is under the influence of voluntarily consumed, injected, or ingested alcohol, controlled substances, or volatile substances at the time of the alleged offense is not excused from criminal responsibility on the basis of mental illness if the alcohol or substance caused, triggered, or substantially contributed to the mental illness.” While Becky may have not had control over his actions or intentions while under the influence, he made the choice to take drugs and therefore cannot use that as a defense. Anyone facing charges for criminal activity while intoxicated or high on drugs should consult with legal counsel regarding their options.
Three teens who went around a South Jordan, Utah neighborhood stealing pride flags may face hate crime charges under a new law put into effect recently.
Several residents in South Jordan, Utah were the victims of theft when their pride flags were taken from their yards during Pride week. One resident caught the perpetrators on camera which led police to another home nearby. Inside officers discovered three teen boys who were identified from the resident’s video. Officer’s also located the stolen flags.
Charges are pending for the teens responsible but is it likely the teens will be charged with theft. According to Utah Code 76-6-412, criminal charges for theft of services or property can range from a class B misdemeanor to a second degree felony depending on the monetary value of the item and other variables such as previous convictions. The pride flags stolen by the teens may be of great personal value to the owners and others around that look to them as a symbol of hope and love to the LGBT community, but their monetary value isn’t high enough to warrant any felony charges.
While the teens shouldn’t face felony charges for theft of the flags, they could face additional misdemeanor charges if their actions are considered a hate crime. The teens were not going around the neighborhood, terrorizing random individual’s yards. They were collecting pride flags, which could be seen as a specific target. SB 103 regarding victim targeting penalty enhancement that was signed into law early April “ enacts provisions relating to sentencing for a criminal offense committed against a victim who is selected because of certain personal attributes.” If their crime could be seen as a hate crime as defined in SB 103, the boys could see enhancements to their charges. For instance, a class B misdemeanor would them become a class A misdemeanor; a class A misdemeanor would become a third degree felony; and so on.
Intent or ignorant choice
Authorities have not determined whether or not the boys intended to target the LGBT community or if they were just making ignorant choices by taking all the rainbow flags they could find. An experienced juvenile defense attorney can help ensure any youth facing charges in portrayed honestly and fairly in a court of law.