Teen accused in girl’s murder to remain in detention while competency restored

Posted at 3:09 PM, Jan 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 00:18:46-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A teenage boy accused of raping and killing 12-year-old Kailey Vijil will remain in juvenile detention while work is done to make him mentally competent to face trial.

The boy -- now 17 -- appeared for a brief hearing Tuesday in 3rd District Juvenile Court. There, lawyers said they had come up with a plan of where to house him while therapists try to restore him to competency.

"We have come up with a plan and you're going to be working with some new people," Judge James Michie told the boy. "If you have questions or don't understand what's happening or concerned about what's going on, you need to let your attorneys know."

Courtesy of Kailey Vijil Go Fund Me page

Courtesy of Kailey Vijil Go Fund Me page

The boy said he understood.

The teen, whom FOX 13 is not naming because he is a juvenile, is accused of luring Kailey from her home claiming he needed help to look for a lost cat. He's accused of sexually assaulting her, strangling her and dumping her body.

Following a series of hearings last year, Judge Michie found the teen mentally incompetent to face trial. But because he is a juvenile, he could not be taken to the Utah State Hospital like other defendants, where work is done to restore competency in criminal cases.

Lawyers told FOX 13 the boy will remain in juvenile detention and therapists will meet with him to begin the competency restoration process. The judge scheduled a hearing in 90 days to get an update on the process.

Outside court, Vijil family attorney Spencer Banks said they were hopeful the case would begin moving.

"They just want the case to move forward as quickly as possible. We're a year and a half after Kailey's passed away and we're still really haven't even started the case," he told reporters. "It can't start until he's found competent."