LOCAL NEWS

Bill Honoring Fallen Utah Officer Would Fix ‘Loophole’ That Let Killers Out Of Jail Early

Jan 28, 2021, 7:00 PM | Updated: 8:44 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A new bill in honor of fallen West Valley City police officer Cody Brotherson would close a legal loophole that allowed his convicted killers to be released from prison early.

The juvenile killers were released in July after serving four years of a life sentence.

The teens basically got a get-out-of-jail-free card by assaulting someone in a juvenile lock up.

They were convicted for that assault and kicked into the adult system, where they got a shorter sentence.

HB0067 would require those in the juvenile justice system to finish serving their sentence before being transferred into the adult system if they pick up additional charges.

Brotherson’s legacy is stamped into the heart of the city that watched him grow and live his dreams. Inside his mother’s home, the walls are covered with tributes.

For all the plaques and medals, nothing means more to his family than a piece of paper in the hands of the legislature.

Jenny Brotherson, the fallen officer’s mother, said, “It will be something that is written down and in the book and Cody would be very proud of that.”

She is one step closer to seeing HB0067 come to life.

“It was the best day yesterday,” Brotherson said. “It was so exciting to keep hearing everybody say ‘yes, yes, yes.’”

She said, “The bill would essentially close — I’m going to call a loophole.”

In Cody Brotherson’s case, two of the three teens convicted in his death were back on the streets years ahead of the judge’s recommendation to hold them “as long as possible,” which would be until they turned 21 years old.

“So specifically, in Cody’s case, that would have kept one of them in there three more years, the other one two more years since he is older,” Jenny Brotherson said.

The teens, 18-year-old Lawrence Boggs and 19-year-old Christopher Boggs, ended up serving a shorter time after being transferred out of the Division of Juvenile Justice Services and into the adult correctional system for separate assault incidents that happened while in juvenile detention.

“They committed an assault, another violent crime, and got rewarded by being put in the adult system and getting out years earlier than they would have,” Brotherson added.

To add insult to injury, the teens were linked to criminal activity shortly after their release.

“It was less than a month,” Brotherson said.

Lawrence Boggs was involved in two shootings and was critically wounded in the second. Christopher Boggs was with Lawrence Boggs during the second incident on July 13, when he was driving a stolen vehicle suspected to be involved in the shooting.

Christopher Boggs was charged with a second-degree felony of stolen property and reckless driving.

“And again, they would not have been out on the street had they been serving out their sentence for Cody’s murder,” Brotherson said.

She hopes her son’s legacy will live on through bills like this one.

“Cody went into police work because he wanted to protect the community,” she said. “And with these changes, the community is protected.”

With approval from the House Judiciary Committee, the bill will move on to the house floor.

Meanwhile, Cody Brotherson’s killers are back in the court system. Christopher Boggs is in custody at the Salt Lake County Jail waiting for sentencing in his involvement in the July 13 shooting.

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Bill Honoring Fallen Utah Officer Would Fix ‘Loophole’ That Let Killers Out Of Jail Early