Teen charged in West Point stabbing murders
Monday , July 01, 2013 - 8:20 AM
FARMINGTON — The Davis County Attorney’s Office is asking a judge to certify the 15-year-old who stabbed his two brothers as an adult.
Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings issued a news release Thursday afternoon stating that his office has charged the teenager with two counts of murder in 2nd District Juvenile Court.
Aza Ray Vidinhar, a 15-year-old brother of the boys, was booked on two counts of homicide into Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center on May 23.
He is scheduled to appear before Judge Janice L. Frost at 11 a.m. July 16, said Nancy Volmer, public information officer with Utah State Courts. He has no prior record.
Aza Vidinhar was identified by the sheriff’s office on May 22, when officers found Alex Vidinhar, 10, andBenjie Vidinhar, 4, stabbed to death in their West Point home. Aza Vidinhar had been watching his brothers and had disappeared.Police found the 15-year-old in Layton later that evening.
The two younger boys were found in the main areas of the upstairs and basement around 7:30 p.m. with multiple “penetrating knife wounds,” officers said.
According to the county attorney’s news release, prosecutors “believe that in the vast majority of circumstances, minors should remain in the juvenile justice system.”
If the 15-year-old stays in the juvenile system, once he turns 21 years of age he is released from custody, “regardless of the crime(s) committed and irrespective of any risk they may pose to public safety,” according to the news release. But if a juvenile older than 14 is certified as an adult and convicted, they can be held in an adult facility for the maximum term, which in a murder case can be life in prison.
“Neither of these alternatives is attractive,” Rawlings wrote in the newsrelease. “In a case such as this, one route or the other must be selected. Based on the evidence as we know it (which cannot be discussed outside of court), it is our view that concern for public safety is paramount.”
Aza Vidinhar’s father has told other media he would prefer his son’s case stay in the juvenile court.
Rawlings also wrote, “We express deep sympathy and are mindful that this is a devastating situation and decision for the family involved.”