FARMINGTON -- Prosecutors have charged the 17-year-old boy who allegedly caused the death of a man following a high-speed police chase in Layton with manslaughter.
Fernando Leal, who turned 18 Tuesday, was originally charged as an adult in 2nd District Court with theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony, and illegal possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony.After reviewing their case, prosecutors added charges of manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and aggravated assault, a third-degree felony, on March 10.
Steve Green, 52, died after the Feb. 20 crash at the busy intersection of Gentile and Fairfield, where police were chasing Leal. Leal ran a red light in a stolen truck and slammed into Green's car, authorities said.
A police investigation concluded that Layton police officers acted within the guidelines of acceptable pursuit policy.
The investigation showed the fleeing vehicle entered the city twice, but officers only became involved the second time because they were asked to intercept by Clearfield.
At Flint and Gentile, a Layton police officer positioned his car in a quasi-roadblock to get the pickup truck full of teenagers to stop.
The roadblock was positioned in such a way to allow the driver to get by without a collision, a press release said.
Police say the truck was aimed directly at the Layton officer, forcing the patrolman to take evasive action to avoid being hit broadside and seriously injured or killed.
At that point, Layton Police Lt. Steve Brown, said the reason for the chase escalated from a traffic stop in Clearfield to a felony assault on an officer in Layton.
"Layton Police Department's reason for being in the pursuit was to apprehend a violent felony and was not directly related with the initial violation in Clearfield," Brown said.
The chase began in Clearfield where an officer attempted to stop the truck for speeding and reckless driving. The driver refused to pull over and a check on the plate revealed the truck was stolen. In addition, officers had information the driver might be armed.
The chase lasted seven minutes and involved four police agencies. On the initial pass through Layton, Brown said a number of Layton officers pulled out of traffic to get out of the way, which is in compliance with policy.
Brown said the policy mandates officers do not get involved in another agency's pursuit unless requested.
The second time the driver entered the city, Clearfield officers asked Layton officers to intercept, prompting the involvement of one Layton officer and a sergeant.
The city's participation in the pursuit lasted less than a minute, Brown said.
Clearfield City Attorney Larry Waggoner said officers with that department acted within the pursuit policy.