Teen Charged In Grantsville Shooting To Make First Court Appearance
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Grantsville teenager accused of killing his mother and three siblings will be making his first court appearance.
Colin Jeffrey (CJ) Haynie, 16, will stand before a Tooele County judge on Monday, just over a week after officers arrived at a Grantsville home and found the bodies of Haynie’s mother and three of his siblings.
Although he isn’t directly involved with the case, Paul Cassell, a criminal law professor at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, said the process may take longer due to the complexity of the case, including the suspect’s age, the timeline of events and the number of victims.
“This is a very complicated case and I would expect it would take months to get to the point where it would go to trial. there are going to be motions filed on both sides, exchange of evidence in the case and a preparation obviously in both the prosecution and defense cases,” Cassell said.
Cassell said Monday will primarily consist of getting all the parties together and figuring out scheduling.
“I think there are going to be a couple of issues that we will expect to be litigated pretty quickly. One is whether the defendant would be released pending trial, which seems very unlikely,” he said.
Given the nature of the crimes and his age, CJ qualifies to be tried as an adult, facing life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
“The only advantage that Mr. Haynie has being under the age of 18 is that he is not facing the death penalty, but other than that he is going to be treated just like any other adult accused of these very serious crimes,” Cassell said. “The underlying issue in the case is going to be whether Mr. Haynie intended to kill the four victims and the fact that he may have been having some sort of mental disturbance at the time probably is not going to negate the criminal intent.”
Cassell said the case information provided by the Tooele County Attorney’s Office about what Haynie said to his father the night of the shooting doesn’t indicate an insanity defense, which would allow the suspect to end up in a mental health facility instead of prison.
“He told him that his mother and other siblings were dead and that his intention was to kill everyone in the house except himself,” said Tooele County District Attorney Scott Broadhead.
“That extreme level of unawareness of what’s going on doesn’t seem to be present in this particular case, given that the crimes were committed over a period of hours against multiple people at multiple different times,” Cassel said.
As to a plea deal, Cassell said while it’s possible, given the nature of the crimes, he thinks it’s unlikely the prosecution would want to make a deal. He said he thinks this will be one of those cases that will go to trial.
Haynie’s first court appearance is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 27.
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