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16-year-old boy was robbed, killed in staged drug deal by fellow teens at Lindon park, charges say

Posted at 9:26 PM, Aug 23, 2022

LINDON, Utah — Charging documents for three Utah teenagers indicate that they killed a fellow teenager during a planned robbery under the guise of a drug deal earlier this month.

Early in the morning of Aug. 1, a 16-year-old died from injuries he suffered in the robbery at Lindon View Park Murdock Trailhead. Police initially said he was injured in a fight.

Court documents were made available Tuesday for three of the five suspects who are all 16-17 years old. FOX 13 News is not identifying them because they are minors. All three were charged in juvenile court last week with murder and aggravated robbery (both 1st-degree felonies).

According to the charges, the group of five teens made a plan to rob the victim, whose name was redacted from the documents. One of the suspects posted on social media that he had marijuana cartridges for sale, and the victim responded and asked how many were available. They then arranged to meet up at the park for the exchange.

Two of the suspects owed money to another person for marijuana cartridges, police said. They intended to use the money they stole from the victim to pay that person back.

All five teens were waiting in a Chevrolet Tahoe at the trailhead, where they met up with the victim around 2 a.m. Police said one of the suspects hid in the cargo area of the SUV "to avoid detection and because he was [the victim's] 'Friend.'"

The victim approached the vehicle and handed money to one of the suspects. One of the teens then pointed a handgun at the victim, and the driver sped away.

"As the Tahoe was speeding away, [the suspect(s)] violently pushed and struck [the victim] in the face and body until [the victim] fell from the Tahoe," charging documents stated. "The back of [the victim's] head struck the road with such force that it crushed the back of his skull. [His] leg was also run over by the right rear tire of the Tahoe."

A friend of the victim arrived with the victim but stayed in the car during the supposed exchange. He saw what happened and ran to help his friend once the group of teens drove off. The victim was reportedly unconscious, struggling to breathe, was having a seizure, and had blood coming from his nose. The friend then took the victim to the victim's own house and ran inside to wake up the boy's parents. The victim's dad went outside and rendered aid while someone called 911. The 16-year-old victim was airlifted to Primary Children's Hospital, where he died from "massive head trauma sustained during the aggravated robbery."