The recent case of a 15-year-old boy who is accused of killing a 12-year-old girl has shaken many of the residents of Salt Lake County. It is alleged that the teen boy lured the girl out of her home with a story about a missing cat.
It is alleged that around midnight, the boy knocked on the girl's door asking for help to find the cat. The girl's older sister refused to help the boy, but the 12-year-old girl left the home with him when he asked her for help. When the girl didn't return, her mother contacted police at around 1:30 in the morning.
At around 2:55 that same morning, officers pinged the girl's cell phone. That led them to the girl, who was found in an overgrown horse pasture. A shirt was wrapped around her neck. The cause of death was noted to be strangulation. The teen was tracked down with the help of the grandmother of another girl who is said to have been asked to help find a missing cat by the boy that same night.
In a juvenile detention hearing, the juvenile court judge ruled that he would remain in the juvenile facility because of the accusations against him. The judge noted that the boy was accused of murder. She also noted that he was accused of "possible sexual assault," but that statement wasn't noted in charging records for the boy's case.
It is now up to the juvenile court judge to decide if the teen will be charged as a juvenile or if the case will be waived to the adult court, which is possible in some very serious crimes. In this case, the fact that the victim was under 14 years old is considered an aggravating factor.
Any juvenile who is facing juvenile justice charges has the right to offer a defense. In the case of a juvenile who is facing a waiver, the juvenile and his or her parents should make sure they fully understand what that means and how to fight against the transfer.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, "15-year-old Utah boy charged with aggravated murder in strangling death of 12-year-old girl," Jessica Miller, July 21, 2015