'Good boy' changed innocent person's life forever

Thursday , May 15, 2014 - 12:16 PM



I feel it is time to speak out. Recently Cooper Van Huizen was sentenced to the Utah State Prison for his part in an armed robbery in the Weber County area. There has been a hue and cry from people saying, “he is a good boy” and deserves mercy (May 14, “16-year-old boy sent to prison despite deal”).

For a moment, imagine you work in a convenience store or a fast food restaurant or bank, etc. Much of the time you are alone. Every time that door opens it could mean trouble. You work perhaps as single parent trying to support a family or a young person trying to go to school or as someone working their second job just to make ends meet. If you make $8.50 an hour you are lucky.

During your shift a couple of teenagers walk in and suddenly put a gun in your face! They are yelling and threatening to kill you. They demand money or beer or tobacco. It doesn’t matter what they want, you are going to die. You will never see your little daughter or your partner or parents or a sunrise again because you could possibly die right now——all for $8.50 an hour. The thugs get what they came for and thankfully leave. You are alive but you have to deal with the fear you felt for the rest of your life. You see a robber in every customer now. You struggle to feel completely safe ever again. Think about that when you say Cooper Van Huizen is a “good boy.”

Judge Ernie Jones is an honorable and good man who takes his job and his role as Judge very seriously. I have worked with and watched him for years. Do I always agree with him? No, but he works hard to protect us and to deal fairly with those who appear before him. Before you judge remember, Cooper Van Huizen is a “good boy” who changed an innocent victim’s life forever—a person who will never be the same because they worked for $8.50 an hour.

Brett Butler


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