Two teenage boys who shot a 14-year-old girl because her Snapchats were annoying them will be charged as adults, a judge ruled Wednesday. Sixteen-year-old Colter Danny Peterson and 16-year-old Jayzen Decker were accused of shooting 14-year-old Deserae Turner in the back of the head February 16 in Smithfield, Utah.
First District Juvenile Court judge Angela Fonnesbeck ruled that Peterson would be tried as an adult, while an earlier decision had already decided the same for Decker. Both were charged with attempted aggravated murder and aggravated robbery as well as other crimes. If they are convicted, they face 15 years to life in the Utah State Prison.
The two boys originally planned to slit Deserae’s throat and leave her to bleed to death, but decided they would shoot her instead, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The .22-caliber handgun was originally intended as a backup weapon should their plan not go accordingly. After shooting her in the back of the head, they broke her cellphone and iPod and stole $55 dollars out of her backpack.
“I just didn’t want anything to do with Snapchatting her anymore,” one of the boys said, according to a statement he gave to police.
“Well, you’ve got a 6-inch blade, why don’t you do it yourself,” said the other.
Peterson said he was the one who pulled the trigger, according to prosecutors. They said Decker helped his friend plan the premeditated attack and encouraged him to shoot. The boys were hoping to kill turner, said police.
Peterson’s defense argued that he should remain in the juvenile system, but the judge countered they didn’t adequately prove he wouldn’t be a danger to public safety. Fonnesbeck said that while Peterson had no prior criminal record, the shooting was premeditated.
“He planned and he acted,” she said. “He pulled the trigger.”
Peterson’s defense attorney David Perry said the decision to try him as an adult was a “travesty.”
“He’s only 17 years old,” said Perry. “If he goes to prison, by the time he gets out it will be 17 years since testimony before he can even be thought of being released. That is longer than he is old.”
Police identified the two boys after text messages Deserae sent to a friend stating she was “getting picked on” emerged. Deserae was finally released from the hospital April 20 after nine weeks, though she was left with debilitating injuries, including partial blindness and some paralysis on the left side of her body. Several bullet fragments remained lodged inside her brain.
“She has undergone a tough surgery and continues to fight for the ability to complete daily tasks many of us take for granted,” her father, Matt Turner, said in March as Deserae prepared to be moved to intensive inpatient rehabilitation therapy.
Deserae used to enjoy riding horses and practicing karate, her mother said. Her main goal now?…