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Judge denies Poulson’s request to withdraw plea

Posted at 10:39 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 00:46:33-04

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Christopher Poulson asked a judge to withdraw his guilty plea to first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony manslaughter in an American Fork courtroom on Tuesday.

Attorneys on both sides agreed over a month ago that if Poulson led authorities to find the bodies of Emily Quijano and her then-3-year-old son Gabriel, he would then plead guilty to the felonies and face a maximum of 30 years behind bars.

Earlier this month, Emily and Gabriel's bodies were found in a shallow grave near Eureka in a remote area of Juab County. Today, the judge said she was not comfortable allowing Poulson to withdraw that plea because of the severity of the crimes.

Lawyers said many members of the victims` family were ok with the agreement, but that wasn`t enough to convince the judge.

Poulson still faces life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for September 26.