Witnesses testify in hearing for man charged in crash that killed Eagle Mountain toddlers

Mar 1, 2024, 2:19 PM

PROVO — Witness testimony started Friday in a preliminary hearing for a man charged with murder in the deaths of two Eagle Mountain toddlers in 2022.

Kent Cody Barlow is accused of causing the deaths of Odin Jeffrey Ratliff and Hunter Charlie Jackson. The 3-year-old boys died after a speeding car crashed into Cedar Valley Stables on May 2, 2022.

Several witnesses who saw the crash testified that Barlow was driving fast when he lost control and the car went off the road and into the corral.

During Friday morning’s testimony witnesses described the crash to a judge.

Barlow Crash

Charging documents stated that Kevin Barlow’s car left a 350-foot trail of debris and destruction. (Utah County Sheriff Department)

​”I believe the first thing I seen was the car coming to a rest. I think I recall it still moving a little bit and a whole lot of dust and smoke,” one witness said.

Another said, “He had to be going probably over 100.”

Barlow was not physically in the courtroom for the hearing but he did appear virtually.

On May 2, Odin Jeffrey Ratliff and Hunter Charlie Jackson, both 3 years old, were playing with toy trucks in a corral at the Cedar Valley Stables when Barlow, who had been “drifting” his vehicle and going 80 mph to 100 mph near 2300 North and 16000 West in Eagle Mountain, hit a bump and lost control of his car, according to court documents.

Family hopes driver ‘gets locked up forever’ after son killed in crash

Barlow’s vehicle crashed through several fences, two horse stables and two corrals, causing a path of destruction of at least 345 feet, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. Both boys were run over and ended up 75 feet from where they were playing.

They died instantly.

Blood drawn from Barlow’s body was analyzed and “showed the presence of methamphetamine and amphetamines at a very high level,” charging documents stated.

Barlow was previously ordered to stand trial for two counts of manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and possession or use of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor.

The Utah County Attorney’s Office upgraded those charges last April to two counts of murder, a first-degree felony.

The preliminary hearing was expected to last all day Friday.

During a preliminary hearing, the prosecution presents its evidence to a judge. The judge will determine whether there is probable cause to hold a trial for the defendant in district court.

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Witnesses testify in hearing for man charged in crash that killed Eagle Mountain toddlers