CRIME

Police expert: 9-year-old arrested in Tooele homicide investigation not too young to be charged

Feb 20, 2024, 11:14 PM | Updated: Feb 21, 2024, 6:46 am

TOOELE — A homicide investigation in Tooele is proving so shocking, that even the most seasoned police veterans say they’ve never seen anything like it.

The fact that it involves a young child, police experts tell KSL TV, will play a huge factor in how the case moves forward.

Officers arrested a 9-year-old after the child’s family member — his father, according to neighbors — was found shot in the head and later died.

“I know many officers who have been here for their entire career, have never seen a situation like this involving a homicide, and potentially someone being so young, being involved in it,” said Tooele City Police Cpl. Colbey Bentley.

Chris Bertram, a retired deputy chief of police not connected to the case, can say the same.

“That is one of the youngest I’ve heard about here in Utah,” he said.

Bertram, who is also a criminal justice associate professor and owns a private investigation consulting company, called the situation “horrific and tragic.”

Police got the call Friday evening, of a man found bleeding from the head at a home in Tooele. Neighbors told KSL the father and son rented a room in the home, and hadn’t lived there long.

The 32-year-old, according to police, was rushed to the hospital where he died.

Tooele police Tuesday weren’t able to release much about the shooting or death, including confirming the relationship between the child and adult.

How the investigation will likely proceed

Bertram explained what investigators would be considering as they conduct interviews — including of the 9-year-old with a guardian present — and figure out what unfolded.

“We look at things that are just pure accidents. You know, an act of God or an accident,” Bertram said. “We also then look at, is it negligent? Is it criminally negligent?”

If an action is deemed criminal, he explained that further considerations include if someone was being reckless, or if they had intention.

“If it’s homicide, there has to be an intention as part of that action. It can’t just be an accident,” Bertram said.

Whatever investigators initially found in this case, led them to that arrest. Bertram said the child wouldn’t be too young to face charges. The cutoff for that is usually 8 or younger, he said.

“Because of the age, he is going to be dealt with by the juvenile justice system,” Bertram said. “He’s going to be dealt with in juvenile court, and because of a change in state law just a few years ago, they can keep jurisdiction over him until he’s 25.”

Bentley said he can’t comment on if charges have been filed in the homicide investigation.

He also could not comment on if the man was found with more than one gunshot wound or any other injuries.

They’re still conducting interviews, as they figure out what led to the horrifying discovery in the small, tight-knit community.

“There’s so much work that goes into talking to neighbors, family members,” Bentley said. “And just going from there, seeing if there was a specific breaking point or, you know, if there was some sort of misunderstanding or something that led up to this point.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Crime

Winnie Quilter's dad's 1982 BMW 320I that was set a blaze during Tuesday morning fires....

Garna Mejia

Four fires near downtown Salt Lake City prompts an arson investigation

Fire investigators are looking for someone suspected of starting several fires in the downtown area early Tuesday morning.

13 hours ago

The second episode of The Letter's second season, "Ripple Effect," details the second man killed in...

Amy Donaldson, KSL Podcasts

Sense of dread precedes second 1982 Millcreek Canyon murder

The second episode of The Letter's second season, "Ripple Effect," details the second man killed in a double murder outside a Millcreek Canyon restaurant in 1982.

17 hours ago

A man previously convicted on a graffiti charge was arrested Sunday and accused of causing more tha...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Man arrested, accused of spray-painting furniture set to be moved into store

A man was arrested Sunday after police say he spray-painted graffiti on furniture waiting to be moved into a downtown store, causing more than $34,000 in damage.

23 hours ago

Monday marked 50 years since the Ogden Hi-Fi murders, and one of the people who first responded to ...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Remembering one of Utah’s most heinous murder cases, 50 years later

Monday marked 50 years since the Ogden Hi-Fi murders, and one of the people who first responded to the scene all those years ago is looking back on what became a career-defining case, both because of the heinous situation and because of the lessons he learned investigating it.

1 day ago

WASHINGTON - APRIL 14:  Activists line Wisconsin Avenue during a vigil outside the residence of Vic...

Matthew Barakat, Associated Press

Jury deliberating in Iraq Abu Ghraib prison abuse civil case; contractor casts blame on Army

A lawyer for a military contractor being sued by three survivors of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq says the plaintiffs are suing the wrong people.

2 days ago

A Cache County pharmacist said he feels safer now that someone is in jail on drug charges relating ...

Shelby Lofton

‘This is endangerment to pharmacies:’ Pharmacist who was victim of fraud calls, store break-in speaks out on rapper’s charges

A Cache County pharmacist said he feels safer now that someone is in jail on drug charges relating to fraudulent prescription schemes.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Police expert: 9-year-old arrested in Tooele homicide investigation not too young to be charged