Teen accused of beating staff member to death at Utah rehab facility charged as an adult

Posted at 1:05 PM, Dec 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-09 23:19:51-05

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah - The 17-year-old student accused of killing a staff member and injuring another at a Utah rehabilitation facility is being charged as an adult.

Garfield County confirmed Clay Brewer, of Snowflake, Arizona, is facing multiple charges after beating 61-year-old Jimmy Woolsey to death at the Turn-About Ranch School near Escalante.

The facility advertises itself as a residential school and treatment program for troubled youth ages 12 to 18.

According to documents from Garfield County, Brewer was receiving treatment for a pill addiction.

The documents state Brewer had been at the ranch for five days. 

Officers said he told them he drank bleach the day before the attack, trying to take his own life.

The next morning he "woke up feeling heartless" and said addiction had taken over his life and controlled him.

Turn-About Ranch School - Garfield County

Turn-About Ranch School - Garfield County

He told officers, "Of course when you're coming off of drugs and tobacco like I was, you lose your mind. That's where I was at, I lost my mind."

Authorities said Brewer told them he beat Woolsey to death by hitting him in the head with a "metal stick."

Brewer told officers he tried to hide Woolsey's body and then changed his own clothes because they were covered with blood.

He told them Woolsey was a "great guy" he had only known for two nights.

Another staff member approached Brewer after he allegedly attacked Woolsey.

He hit her multiple times and demanded keys to a vehicle because he wanted to leave.

Turn-About Ranch School - Garfield County

Turn-About Ranch School - Garfield County

She told officers, "He had me at full blast, hands up with the re-bar in his hands and he hit me on top of the head twice."

The documents state the staff member ran towards a house where students "she had to help save" were inside.

Brewer chased her.

She got in and held the door closed, trying to keep Brewer out and away from the other students.

She told authorities Brewer went to a window and said, "I'm going to break it in. I'm going to kill everyone," as the students inside screamed.

The staff member told Brewer she would give him her car keys if he did not hurt anyone else.

He took her keys and drove off, leading deputies on a high-speed chase through Escalante.

Brewer eventually crashed into a tree, rolling the car. 

Deputies said Brewer pointed his hands at them as though he was pointing a gun and reached into his coat.

Then Brewer crawled out of the car window and deputies took him into custody.

He told officers his plan was to appear to have a weapon so he "could get shot to get killed."

The staff member Brewer hit was left with two black eyes and needed multiple stitches in her head.

Brewer is facing the following charges:

  • Criminal homicide, aggravated murder
  • Attempted criminal homicide, aggravated murder
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Failure to respond to officer's signal to stop
  • Tampering with evidence
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Theft
  • Reckless driving

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