LOGAN, Utah – A teenager charged with encouraging a friend to kill a 14-year-old girl in a plot hatched as the boys played video games, was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison Wednesday, a year after the girl survived a shot to the head.
Judge Brian Cannell, acclaimed victim Deserae Turner as “the indomitable” as he handed down the sentence that could keep Jayzon Decker, 17, in prison for life, the Deseret News reported. Turner said in court that the bullet still lodged in her brain leaves her struggling to walk, dress and function due to the debilitating headaches.
“You are evil. I wish that this never happened,” she said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. “Happiness of a life in prison and remember that, because you, my life is a prison.”
His co-defendant Colter D. Peterson, 17, was also sentenced to 15 years to life in prison last week.
Prosecutors said the pair devised the plan in February 2017 while playing video games, and discussing their desire to “get rid” of Turner, who was messages Peterson on social media. They lured her to a remote dry canal bed behind a high school in Smithfield, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City, then shot her and left her for dead in a ditch, prosecutors said.
Decker held the spent shell as a memento,” he said. Officers later found it on his bedroom windowsill.
The Associated Press does not typically name juvenile suspects, but the teens were ordered to face charges as adults. The Decker, pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated murder and felony obstruction of justice.
His attorney, Shannon Demler had asked for a shorter minimum sentence, say that Decker’s role was less serious, that had, otherwise, a clean record, and was too young for his brain to have fully matured.
His mother Billie Jean, the Decker, she said, she had known him as a friendly boy who loved his cousins and opened doors for women in the church.
But Cannell, found of the teen was legally and morally just as responsible for the crime as the boy who pulled the trigger.
“I’ve tried to read you today. I tried to look if you in the past sense,” the judge told the defendant. “I don’t know what is scarier — the actual act, or not understanding, or the lack of emotion.”