Prosecution, Defense React To Decision To Try Teen As Adult In Turner Case
Judge Angela F. Fonnesbeck of the First District Juvenile Court ruled Wednesday that Colter Peterson, one of two teens charged with the attempted murder of Deserae Turner, will be tried as an adult. Peterson will make his first appearance in district court Thursday and will be held without bail until then.
David Perry, Peterson’s defense attorney, says that after Jayzon Decker, Peterson’s codefendant, was transferred to the adult system, his hope of keeping Peterson in the juvenile system decreased significantly.
“It’s unfair that he didn’t remain here in the juvenile system, because this system has so much more opportunities for rehabilitation, treatment, education. He’s only 16-years-old," Perry said. "If he goes to prison, by the time he gets out, it will be 17 years with the testimony yesterday, before he could even be thought of being released. That’s longer than he is old. He should have remained in the juvenile system. I think what happened today is a travesty.”
Cache County Attorney James Swink commended Judge Fonnesbeck for her decision.
“She’s obviously considered that evidence. She’s been careful about taking it in and documenting it and she’s weighed it fairly," Swink said. "We appreciate her careful consideration of the evidence and her careful drafting of a sound decision to transfer these minors over to the adult system.”
Swink voiced his appreciation for the community and the families involved in the trial, noting the support of Turner’s family and their desire to bring the case to a close.
“Because of the emotional nature of these hearings and court and all those things, they would like to let the court know that they would like to move, as a victim, this matter forward as fast as possible so they can have some closure," Swink said. "The state will work for that.”