- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Salt Lake City-area teenager declared mentally incompetent for trial on murder and sexual assault charges in the death of a 12-year-old neighbor girl will stay in juvenile detention during treatment, a judge said Tuesday.

The teenager can’t be sent to the Utah State Hospital for mental treatment because of his age, but attorneys have worked out a plan to try and make him fit for trial. Judge James Michie is set to check the teen’s progress in three months.

“We have some work to do and I want you to work as hard you can,” Michie told the youth. The Associated Press is not naming the 17-year-old defendant because he’s a juvenile.

The judge decided last month the teenager has at least two mental conditions that keep from understanding the juvenile case against him, but said he could become legally fit for trial with treatment. Exact details about his condition have not been made public.

The teenager is charged with aggravated murder and rape of a child in the July 2015 death of Kailey Vijil. Her body was found with a shirt wrapped around her neck in an overgrown horse pasture near their neighborhood in West Valley City.

Police have said the teen also tried to lure at least one other neighborhood girl from her home earlier that night.

A lawyer for the girl’s family, Spencer Banks, said they’re frustrated with the slow progress of the case but hopeful the treatment will work.

Prosecutors have said they want him tried as an adult due to the seriousness of the allegations.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide