Teen who provided guns in Roy home burglary out on parole

Posted at 12:10 PM, Nov 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-05 23:23:35-05

OGDEN, Utah -- A teenager convicted for taking part in an armed burglary served his time and was released to his family Wednesday.

Cooper Van Huizen's parole came about much earlier than expected, after many people wrote letters in support of the 17 year old--who faced a sentence of up to 30 years.

Van Huizen said his time behind bars made him think about the consequences of his decisions.

"It has made me think of the actions," he said. "Normally, I would do and then think about it, but I realize that's not smart."

A judge sentenced the teen to serve two consecutive one-to-15-year sentences for providing weapons for an armed burglary in Roy last November, where the Weber Country Prosecutor said some of Van Huizen's friends and later co-defendants robbed the victims at gunpoint.

"The co-defendant had the gun, put it at one of the victim's heads and threatened to blow his brains out," said Weber County Attorney Dee Smith in an earlier interview.

The prosecutor said the fact that Van Huizen provided the guns was an aggravating factor.

And though his parents admit their son made some bad choices, they said he didn't deserve such a harsh sentence.

"When the judge took one look at the agreement that we had signed and determined it was too lenient and threw it out and sent my son to prison, that was probably the very worst day of my entire life," said Mar Van Huizen, Cooper's father.

Van Huizen has several conditions for his parole, but primarily he needs to finish high school.

His mother, Mindy Van Huizen, said they're now in the process of getting his records expunged, and she said she hopes her son uses this second chance to find a better path.

"Hopefully we grow a lot from this and get Cooper in the right direction," she said.