House Advances Bill To Close Loophole Exposed After WVC Officer’s Killing

Feb 3, 2021, 6:09 PM | Updated: 9:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah House of Representatives gave unanimous approval Wednesday to a bill that seeks to fix a loophole that came to light after the death of a West Valley City police officer.

The proposed legislation was in response to the early release of two brothers convicted in the 2016 death of Officer Cody Brotherson.

The legal loophole happened when the teens, Lawrence Boggs and Christopher Boggs, were released years ahead of their original sentence because they were transferred to the adult system on separate assault charges.

H.B. 67 allows for those in the juvenile system to finish serving a sentence before moving to the adult system.

After passing the House, the bill heads to the Senate for its consideration.

The bill also gives factors for the court to consider when deciding if a defendant’s sentence should run concurrently or consecutively with certain adult sentences.

“This was a tragic story,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Craig Hall, R-West Valley City. “It deeply impacted not only the family of Officer Brotherson but the entire community.”

While speaking on the House floor, Rep. Hall talked about the initial heartache and the additional suffering for Officer Brotherson’s mother.

“She suffered a second time when those individuals that pleaded guilty to this murder were let out before they were 21 after hearing a juvenile court judge say they would stay in until they were 21,” Hall went on to say.

Brotherson’s mother, Jenny Brotherson, testified in support of the bill during a committee hearing last week.

Afterward she told KSL TV that the loophole needs to be closed so that a juvenile judge’s recommendations will be honored.

“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,” Jenny Brotherson said.

Jenny Brotherson said she hopes the bill serves as a legacy to her son.

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

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House Advances Bill To Close Loophole Exposed After WVC Officer’s Killing