SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The teenager accused of fatally shooting a man last month in Salt Lake City was ordered to remain in juvenile detention on Friday after the victim’s parents pleaded before the court to keep him in custody.
In a virtual hearing in Third District Juvenile Court, Judge Annettee Jan decided that the 15-year-old boy, whom ABC4 is not naming due to his age, will remain at the Salt Lake County Juvenile Detention Center, pending weekly reviews. It’s yet unclear if prosecutors will seek to transfer his case and charge him as an adult.
In making her decision, Jan noted the “serious nature” of the accusations against the teenager, who has been held in detention since his arrest in the hours following the Oct. 13 shooting that killed 23-year-old Rory Swimm.
According to a police report, a fatal shooting happened at the intersection of 600 East and 200 South, in Salt Lake City’s Central City neighborhood.
The teenager was with other teens, looking for Swimm and his friends following an argument earlier in the day. One of the teens allegedly shot Swimm, and fled in a car. Swimm died at the scene.
Another 15-year-old boy was also arrested in the wake of the shooting, but he was released from detention on Oct. 20. According to a spokesperson for Utah State Courts, the state does not intend to petition any allegations against the second teenager.
Susan Swimm, Rory Swimm’s mother, spoke to the court in Friday’s hearing, urging the judge to send the teenager back to his detention cell.
“[He] killed my son. [He] needs to pay for the crime of murder, not be released into the loving arms of his mother,” she said.
The attorney representing the teenager argued that he should be released into the custody of his parents until the preliminary hearing, so he could be with family and attend school.
The teen could wear a GPS ankle monitor, the attorney said, adding that the teen could also be placed under curfew.
Prosecutor Adrianna Davis, on the other hand, argued that the teen is a “clear danger to the community” and should remain in custody pending the outcome of the case.
Her sentiments were echoed by the probation officer, who said that the teen posed an inherent risk.
The teen’s parents were visibly upset by the court’s decision to keep him in detention, at times interrupting the hearing. At moments, the teen himself could be seen with his head lowered, crying.
The teenager’s next court appearance, a pretrial hearing, was set for Jan. 26.