Residents of a tiny town in northern Utah struggled to comprehend Wednesday why two teenage boys plotted to rob and kill a 14-year-old girl prior to shooting her in the head and leaving her critically wounded in a ditch, according to prosecutors.
The 16-year-old suspects do not have any critical criminal history, and both had no identified issues at Smithfield's only high college, court and school officials say. Police have not offered a motive for hurting Deserae Turner, who was in a medically induced coma, but one particular of the boys stated they were driven by greed.
They told police they lured Turner to the ditch last week by promising to sell her a knife. Rather, they shot her and then took her cellphone, iPod and $55, prosecutors said in charging documents.
"What's challenging for the neighborhood to process is why anything like this would occur," said Tim Smith, spokesman for the Cache County School District, where all the teens went to school. "These types of events aren't standard for our valley."
Smithfield, with a population of almost 11,000, is a single of several compact bedroom communities about Logan, the biggest city in the northern portion of the heavily Mormon state. Deserae attends the area's only middle college.
The teenage suspects have been charged with attempted aggravated murder, robbery and other counts.
Lawyer Shannon Demler, who represents one of the suspects, said he's nonetheless trying to realize what occurred but that the allegations caught the boy's parents off-guard and has been quite challenging on them.
"This case has torn apart three families," Demler said. "And the community is shaken up that one thing like this could occur here."
A judge ordered the suspects to stay in juvenile detention following a brief court look Wednesday with their parents, the Herald Journal of Logan reported ( //bit.ly/2lvZ073 ).
The Associated Press is not naming the boys for the reason that they are juveniles.
Demler said he will argue to hold his client in juvenile court, immediately after Cache County Attorney James Swink mentioned he wants to attempt the teens as adults.
Deserae was reported missing Thursday evening when she didn't return dwelling from school. She was identified early Friday in a dry canal about 90 miles north of Salt Lake City with a gunshot to the back of her head.
"She was a standard 14-year-old," Smith mentioned of Deserae, adding that her family has asked for background about the ninth-grader to be kept private. "A excellent student. Great family. Really supportive loved ones."
Smith said he was not aware of any past troubles with the two boys at school.
Charging documents say the boys initially planned to stab Deserae with knives of their personal. Soon after they arrived, one boy decided alternatively to use a gun he had brought, prosecutors stated Tuesday.
They took income, tossed her backpack in a trash bin and destroyed her cellphone and iPod, prosecutors mentioned.
The teen who brought the gun gave the spent shell casing to the other boy when he asked to hold it "as a memento," the charges state. Officers later located it displayed on his bedroom windowsill.
The teen who took the casing dwelling told police that he saw his pal shoot a girl he didn't know, although investigators say text messages between the boys indicate they planned the robbery and shooting together.
The teen accused of pulling the trigger gave police a written note for Deserae's family members that stated, "I am so so so sorry," authorities mentioned.
Jill Parker, a county employee who is acting as a spokeswoman for Deserae's family, said they are performing the ideal they can. She declined to say why the loved ones could believe their daughter was targeted.
Good friends have set up a fundraising webpage that had brought in much more than $30,000 as of Wednesday afternoon. The GoFundMe web page says Turner is "fighting as hard as she can!" and adds that "each and every small bit will support their poor loved ones with their ongoing household costs as they go by means of this challenging battle."
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