Teens charged with murder in robbery death of 16-year-old Lindon boy
LINDON, Utah — A group of teens that police say planned to rob a 16-year-old boy during a low-level drug deal — including one of the victim’s friends who was trying to pay off a debt — are now accused of murdering the boy after he fell from their moving vehicle.
On Aug. 1, 16-year-old Gavin Hone died following an altercation with others. Lindon police announced on Aug. 4 that a total of five teenagers had been arrested in connection with the investigation, but have otherwise remained tight-lipped about the case.
KSL.com has confirmed that at least three of the boys — two 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old — were charged last week in 4th District Juvenile Court with murder and aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies. One of the 17-year-old boys who was allegedly driving that night has also been charged with joyriding, a class A misdemeanor. KSL.com has chosen not to release the names of the boys at this time.
Five juveniles had arranged to meet Gavin at the Lindon View Murdock Canal Trailhead in Lindon about 2 a.m. on Aug. 1 to sell him marijuana vape cartridges, according to charging documents. At least one of the boys — a friend of Gavin — owed another boy money and was trying to pay off the debt, investigators say. The boy said he did not want to personally rob Gavin, but helped arrange the setup with the others and was present during the robbery, a search warrant affidavit states.
“All five minors agreed to rob (the victim) of his $440 to repay the debt … and to keep the marijuana cartridges for themselves,” the charging documents allege.
Gavin arrived at the meeting location with another friend who waited in the car. The other group arrived in a Chevrolet Tahoe.
Several boys hid in the back cargo area of the Tahoe as Gavin approached the right rear passenger window. When he handed his money through the window, one of the suspects pointed a handgun at Gavin’s face and turned the flashlight on that was mounted to the gun, according to the charges.
One boy later told police that “he saw both rear passengers throwing punches at the victim as the victim held onto the rear passenger side window,” according to one of the affidavits filed as part of the investigation.
“At this time, (the driver) floored the Tahoe and accelerated away at a high rate of speed. As the Tahoe was speeding away, (one of the boys) violently pushed and struck (Gavin) in the face and body until fell from the Tahoe. The back of (his) 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,” according to the charging documents.
Gavin’s friend told police he watched as the boys in the Tahoe “pulled the victim through the window into their SUV, and started to assault him,” and said the SUV dragged the victim “a ways” until he fell out of the window and landed on the street, knocking him unconscious.
Police later determined that Gavin had fallen approximately 50 feet outside the park entrance and some of his personal belongings were found another 50 feet away from that, according to the warrants.
After the robbery, the money was then divided among the boys in the Tahoe as they drove away with one person exclaiming that “their debt was paid,” the charges state.
Gavin’s friend waited for the Tahoe to leave before picking him up and driving to his parent’s home. Gavin was still unconscious when they got to his home. His father called 911 and Gavin was taken by medical helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital “where he died from massive head trauma,” according to the juvenile court charges.
Detectives learned that the drug deal was set up using Snapchat. After reviewing Gavin’s phone, police started to identify and question suspects.
According to the charges, a separate motion is being filed to request that the defendants remain in the juvenile court’s jurisdiction until they are 25.
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