Man to serve 1-15 years in prison for hit-and-run death of West Jordan boy

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jan 23, 2023

WEST JORDAN, Utah — WEST JORDAN, Utah — The man who killed a 13-year-old boy during a hit-and-run incident in West Jordan last year has been sentenced up to 15 years in prison.

Mason Andrews Ohms received his sentence Monday after pleading guilty to criminal homicide in the April death of 13-year-old Eli Mitchell. Ohms struck Mitchell as the boy was riding his bike home from a grocery store on April 26.

"He’s like, 'Mom, I'm gonna ride my bike to the store and buy myself some treats with the new debit card,'" said Lisa Mitchell, Eli’s mother, who asked him if he wanted her to take him to the store. "He said, 'No, I want to go own my own. I am gonna ride my bike.'

"Eli bounded up the stairs saying, 'OK, well I'm out of here!' That was the last time I saw him,” she said.

Before the incident, Ohms had spent as many as four hours drinking at a nearby bar. After hitting Mitchell, video showed Ohms stopping his pickup truck and removing the teen's bike from his wheel well before driving away.

“‘He had no soul at that moment. He simply stared down at the helpless body in the street and looked blankly at strangers helping Eli,’” said Eli’s grandfather, Glendon Mitchell as he read witness statements.

State prosecutors said his blood alcohol level content was over four times the legal limit at the time of the hit-and-run.

“My only son and best friend was tragically taken from me due to many poor decisions and criminal actions due to Mason Ohms,” said Eli’s father, Jeremy.

Ohms was sentenced 1 to 15 years in prison for a criminal homicide charge and 0 to 5 years for leaving the scene of an accident involving death. The sentences will run consecutively.

Ohms, who had four prior DUI convictions, was arrested the same night at his Saratoga Springs home. He pleaded guilty to criminal homicide and the leaving the scene charge in November.

“I never intended for any of this to happen. I’m devastated by what has happened. I sincerely apologize,” said Ohms in court.

The Mitchell family described the sentencing as a “pause in the chaos.” They plan to leave behind the stress of the court process and focus their energy on healing.

“People talk about forgiveness and stuff, and I want to get there, but I think it’s OK for me to take time because my best friend is dead,” said Eli’s sister, Emma.

“When I get super sad, which is often, I try to think: would Eli want me to be super sad? And he would not want me to be super sad. He would want me to find joy,” said Lisa.

The family is working with Utah Rep. Ken Ivory (District 39) on HB 247, which they describe as a “preventative” bill to control alcohol and hold bars accountable for overserving and letting drunk drivers get behind the wheel.