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Utah teen pleads guilty to shooting death of stepbrother

June 28, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah teen says he did not know a gun was loaded when he shot and killed his stepbrother, a report said.

The teenager pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter Wednesday, The Deseret News reported Wednesday.

Jerrad Jacobsen, 16, died at a home in the Salt Lake City suburb of Kearns March 18, police said.

A deal with the state stipulates the teen, who was not named by the newspaper, will be held in a secure juvenile detention facility, authorities said.

The boy told police he believed the gun was unloaded, a factor limiting options for charging him, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said in April.

The prosecutor’s office thought it could meet its burden of proof for the charge of manslaughter, which can be based on recklessness, but not for a knowing and intentional killing, Gill said.

The teenager told the judge Wednesday he was also under the influence of drugs.

“I guess I wasn’t thinking and I grabbed the gun and pointed it at him,” he said in court.

Theresa Toledo, Jacobsen’s mother, told the judge she disagrees with the teen spending no more than half a year in detention.

“I don’t get how this is an accident, and how it’s OK for him to go to secure care for three to six months when he took a life,” she said in court.

Her son was shot in the back of the head, Toledo said.

“If those were the facts, this wouldn’t be a manslaughter case,” she said after the hearing.

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Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com

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