- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Three Utah teenagers have been charged with murder and theft after a police officer was killed during a chase of a stolen car, according to court documents released Friday following a push by media outlets.

The boys - one who is 14 and two who are 15 - are accused in the death of West Valley City police Officer Cody Brotherson, who was hit and killed Nov. 6 after he stepped out of his cruiser to lay out tire-puncturing strips designed to stop the car.

The occupants of the car fled after it careened down an embankment and hit a fence. The three teens were later arrested.

Two initially tried to say a fourth person was behind the wheel, but they eventually acknowledged that wasn’t true, police said in search warrants.

The Associated Press does not usually name juvenile suspects.

Each of the three teens is facing several charges that also include possession of burglary tools and failure to stop. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said prosecutors aren’t currently seeking to try the defendants as adults.

Authorities have said little about the investigation and the brief charging documents contain few additional details.

Third District Juvenile Judge Kim Hornak decided Thursday there was no legal reason to keep the case sealed.

Defense attorneys had pushed to keep the case sealed to prevent further damage to the teens or their families in the juvenile system, which is aimed at rehabilitating offenders.

Lawyers for a coalition of media outlets, though, argued the high-profile case had an effect on the public and people need to know how it is resolved.

A lawyer for one of the teens, Steven Miller, declined to comment on the case.

Attorneys for the other defendants did not immediately return an after-hours telephone message left at the public defender’s office seeking their comments.

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