Sheriff: West Point boys stabbed to death, brother in custody

Posted at 9:11 PM, May 22, 2013

WEST POINT, Utah --  A 15-year-old is in custody in connection with the murder of his two younger brothers.

In a news conference Thursday morning, Sheriff Todd Richardson said the 15-year-old is in custody and being held at the Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center.

His two younger brothers, ages 4 and 10, were found dead from what appears to be knife wounds. Their deaths are being investigated as homicides.

Richardson says investigators are still working on a timeline of what occurred in the home and a possible motive for the attack, but say the attack appears to be reactionary rather than planned.

The investigation started when police got a 911 call at 7:30 Wednesday night. The mother came home to find her 4-year-old son dead. Deputies responded to 25 N 1660 W and found the 10-year-old boy dead.

The 15-year-old was missing until about midnight, when he was located in Layton. He was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated then booked into the Farmington Bay Youth Detention Center.

Richardson says the suspect had defensive wounds on his body that are typical of the kind of attack that occurred.

Police found evidence tying the suspect to the scene at his West Point home, Richardson said in a Thursday afternoon press conference, including traces of blood on his body, but Richardson would not specify further. They did not find a weapon on him, but do have a weapon in custody.

The suspect has talked to investigators, Richardson said, and is cooperating with police.

The boys' mother last saw them alive around 4:45 Wednesday afternoon as she was leaving to run errands with three other children. The suspect was left in charge of the other two boys.

Richardson says the suspect is a biological child but the two younger brothers are adopted. There are six children in the family, but Richardson did not indicate how many are biological and how many are adopted.

This was not the first time police have been called to the home. Sgt. Susan Poulsen from the Davis County Sheriff's Office said the 15-year-old was reported as a runaway in 2011. He was later found at a nearby Wendy's restaurant in that incident.

There are no other police incidents involving the suspect, and police aren't aware of any diagnosed medical disability.

Davis County Sheriffs said the boys' father, who is in Alabama on active duty with the military, has been notified. He is reportedly on his way home.

Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings issued a statement on the case: "We grieve for the family involved. There are more questions than answers at this point. The teen in custody has a presumption of innocence. Facts are being gathered to assist with critical decisions. We will say no more at this time. Our primary concern is for the family of these children."

Because the boy in custody is 15, he cannot be automatically charged as an adult. If prosecutors elect to charge him as an adult, they will have to go to juvenile court to certify him as an adult under the Serious Youth Offender Act.

Richardson says the case is still an active investigation and police and prosecutors haven't considered charges or whether the suspect will be charged as an adult. He is currently being held on two counts of homicide.