West Point teen waives hearing in stabbing deaths of brothers

Aug 28 2013 - 11:24am

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FILE - In this July 16, 2013, file photo, Todd Utzinger, attorney for a 15-year-old boy charged in the stabbing deaths of his younger brothers, talks with reporters following his initial appearance in juvenile court, in Farmington, Utah. Utzinger, the attorney for a 15-year-old boy charged in the deaths of his younger brothers has waived the right to a preliminary hearing. Davis County legal defender coordinator Todd Utzinger informed a juvenile court judge of the decision Tuesday morning during a hearing that was scheduled to go over the state's evidence. Utzinger says he would rather use the court's time to focus on an upcoming certification hearing in which a juvenile court judge will decide if the teen will be tried as an adult or juvenile. The Associated Press is withholding the teen's name due to his age. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool, File)
FILE - In this July 16, 2013, file photo, Todd Utzinger, attorney for a 15-year-old boy charged in the stabbing deaths of his younger brothers, talks with reporters following his initial appearance in juvenile court, in Farmington, Utah. Utzinger has waived the right to a preliminary hearing. Davis County legal defender coordinator Todd Utzinger informed a juvenile court judge of the decision Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 during a hearing that was scheduled to go over the state's evidence. Utzinger says he would rather use the court's time to focus on an upcoming certification hearing in which a juvenile court judge will decide if the teen will be tried as an adult or juvenile. The Associated Press is withholding the teen's name due to his age. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool, File)
FILE - Aza Vidinhar, 15, charged with two counts of felony murder.
FILE - In this July 16, 2013, file photo, Todd Utzinger, attorney for a 15-year-old boy charged in the stabbing deaths of his younger brothers, talks with reporters following his initial appearance in juvenile court, in Farmington, Utah. Utzinger, the attorney for a 15-year-old boy charged in the deaths of his younger brothers has waived the right to a preliminary hearing. Davis County legal defender coordinator Todd Utzinger informed a juvenile court judge of the decision Tuesday morning during a hearing that was scheduled to go over the state's evidence. Utzinger says he would rather use the court's time to focus on an upcoming certification hearing in which a juvenile court judge will decide if the teen will be tried as an adult or juvenile. The Associated Press is withholding the teen's name due to his age. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool, File)
FILE - In this July 16, 2013, file photo, Todd Utzinger, attorney for a 15-year-old boy charged in the stabbing deaths of his younger brothers, talks with reporters following his initial appearance in juvenile court, in Farmington, Utah. Utzinger has waived the right to a preliminary hearing. Davis County legal defender coordinator Todd Utzinger informed a juvenile court judge of the decision Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 during a hearing that was scheduled to go over the state's evidence. Utzinger says he would rather use the court's time to focus on an upcoming certification hearing in which a juvenile court judge will decide if the teen will be tried as an adult or juvenile. The Associated Press is withholding the teen's name due to his age. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool, File)
FILE - Aza Vidinhar, 15, charged with two counts of felony murder.

FARMINGTON -- The defense attorneys for a 15-year-old accused of killing his two younger brothers waived the preliminary hearing.

Aza Vidinhar, 15, charged with two counts of felony murder, appeared before Judge Janice Frost on Tuesday in 2nd District Juvenile Court. His father sat next to him, like he has in all other hearings.

Vidinhar, dressed in a blue jump suit and shackled, answered Frost's questions with "Yes, ma'am, " and "No, ma'am." She asked him if he understood why his attorneys waived the preliminary hearing that was scheduled for Tuesday.

Another hearing when motions will be discussed is set for 10 a.m. Oct. 8.

Vidinhar has been assigned two attorneys, Todd Sessions and Todd Utzinger.

Sessions said in court there is enough evidence for the prosecutors to charge Vidinhar in the case, but Vidinhar was not guilty of the charges.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Ryan Perkins is the prosecutor assigned to the case.

Vidinhar is accused of stabbing to death his two younger brothers, Alex, 10, and Benjie, 4. The younger boys were found May 22 with multiple stab wounds, after their mother returned to their home. The boys' bodies were found in the main parts of their home in West Point.

Vidinhar was found several hours later by Layton police as he walked down a street. He was taken into custody and booked in Farmington Youth Center on May 23.

The Davis County Attorney's Office filed formal charges July 1, along with a motion asking the judge to certify the teenager as an adult.
Sessions and Utzinger said they plan to file motions seeking documents from outside agencies.

Utzinger said after the hearing those motions are seeking "records held by other entities that both sides will want to consider," when it comes time to decide if Vidinhar should be certified as an adult.

Utzinger maintains that Vidinhar should not be certified as an adult because he "barely turned 15" and there are "a lot of factors to consider including his maturity and his background."

The defense attorneys spent a lot of time with Vidinhar explaining what would happen if the preliminary hearing had gone forward on Tuesday, Utzinger said.

A preliminary hearing is where a judge hears testimony and evidence and decides if there is enough probable cause to bind  the case over for a trial.
Utzinger would not discuss the "state of mind" of his client but did say the teenager "is aware of the gravity of the situation."

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