SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 28, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Three teenage boys have pleaded guilty to lesser charges after all were charged with murder in the November death of West Valley City police officer Cody Brotherson.
On Nov. 6, 2016, Brotherson was placing spike strips near the intersection of 4100 South and 2200 West in an attempt to stop the three teenagers, who were in a stolen car, fleeing a police chase at a high rate of speed.
The stolen car struck 25-year-old Brotherson, who appeared to die on impact, according to a witness account from another officer. A detective said in an affidavit that the fleeing vehicle appeared to swerve in order to strike Brotherson.
The three boys charged — a 14 year old, his 15-year-old brother, and the older brother’s friend, who has since turned 16 — were all in court Wednesday. None have admitted to being behind the steering wheel when Brotherson was struck.
On Wednesday, in the 3rd District Juvenile courtroom of Judge Kimberly Hornak, the 14-year-old admitted to manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and two other counts connected to two gang-related fights.
The boy’s 15-year-old brother pleaded guilty to charges related to stealing the car, possession of brass knuckles, and fleeing from police officers. He did not confess to any charges of directly causing Brotherson’s death.
And the older brother’s friend, now 16, pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree for recklessly causing Brotherson’s death, admitting to the crime as a party with others.
Members of Brotherson’s family will be allowed to address the court before the teens’ July 10 sentencing.