OGDEN, Utah, Dec. 26, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Weber County teen has been sentenced to one to 15 years’ incarceration for the shooting death of a boy he described as his best friend.
Brandon Parker, now 18, was 17 at the time of the March 2020 shooting, which took place at his family home, his probable cause statement says.
Parker, 16-year-old victim Caden Ferguson and a third teen were sitting around a table when Parker shot Ferguson in the forehead, killing him instantly.
Parker reportedly told an Ogden City Police officer, “I don’t have the gun; I killed my best friend,” his charging documents say. “Brandon continued to exclaim he had shot his best friend and that he had ‘killed’ him.”
Parker, who was charged as an adult, said the shooting was an accident, and initially pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, a first-degree felony; theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony; obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony; and purchase, transfer possession or use of a firearm, a third-degree felony.
In September of this year, Parker accepted a deal and pleaded guilty to manslaughter, amended to a second-degree felony. The remaining charges were dismissed without prejudice.
On Dec. 21, Judge Cristina Ortega ordered the one- to 15-year sentence, which is the most severe allowed for manslaughter conviction. She also ordered Parker will be held in a youth detention center until he reaches the age of 21 and a half.