- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

LOGAN, Utah (AP) - A judge in northern Utah ruled Monday that a 16-year-old boy charged with helping his friend plot to kill a 14-year-old girl will be tried in adult court.

First District Juvenile Judge Angela Fonnesbeck in court in Logan said that while authorities don’t suspect the teen shot the girl earlier this year, he helped plan and carry out the crime. Her decision to allow the case to be moved to adult court came after a two-day hearing over the matter last week.

“He may not have pulled the trigger himself, but he did take a deliberate and specific action to ensure the crime would be committed,” Fonnesbeck said. “There was plenty of time for the defendant to step away from the crime and he did not do so.”

Authorities have said the two 16-year-old boys concocted the plan while playing video games and discussing their desire to “get rid” of Deserae Turner, who was texting one of them. Turner was found in the early morning of Feb. 17 in a dry canal in the small town of Smithfield, Utah, about 90 miles north of Salt Lake City, with a gunshot to the back of her head.

Turner spent more than two months in a hospital.

The Associated Press is not naming the boys because they are juveniles. They are both charged with attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and obstruction of justice.

The attorney for the teen whose case Fonnesbeck agreed to move to adult court had argued he should stay in the juvenile court system because of his age and lack of criminal history.

Defense attorney Shannon Demler on Monday said he was disappointed with the judge’s ruling, but not surprised.

“Now in the district court we can fully put out our story and what we believe our involvement was, and we feel that in the end he will be found not guilty of the crimes he has been alleged of committing,” Demler said.

Prosecutors last week told Fonnesbeck the shooting has left some students afraid of going to school and permanently damaged Turner and her family.


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