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Teen charged in school shooting remains in custody following hearing

WEST JORDAN — An initial court appearance was cut short Tuesday for a 14-year-old boy accused of shooting another teenager twice in the head.

The boy's attorney, Tasha Williams, asked that the boy not be required to appear in the courtroom because of the presence of a TV news camera. Claiming she had not been informed there would be a camera at the hearing, Williams also asked for an order from the judge requiring that the defense be notified of media photo requests in the future.

Prosecutors did not object to the motion, which was ultimately granted by 3rd District Juvenile Judge Tupakk Renteria. The judge had signed a request allowing the camera to be present.

According to prosecutors, the 14-year-old and Joshua Cordova, who goes to Hillcrest High School, met for a fight on the north end of the Union Middle School grounds, 615 E. 8000 South, just as class was letting out on Oct. 25.

The teen shot Cordova, 16, in the head, and then shot him again after he fell to the ground, according to witnesses and charging documents. A teacher who was outside the school when the shooting happened told detectives at least three shots were fired, and the teen attempted to fire a fourth round but the gun jammed, charges state.

Police said Monday that Cordova, who was in critical condition following the shooting, has been steadily improving and that he's stable.

The Deseret News has opted not to name the 14-year-old at this time.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Monday he will seek to have the teenager certified to face the charges in adult court.

The teen told police he was afraid of what Cordova might do when they met, so he brought his mother's gun with the intention of scaring the older boy. However, Gill said evidence collected in the case indicates the shooting was attempted murder and not self-defense.

The boy will return to court Nov. 10. Until then, he will remain in custody at a juvenile detention facility.

Williams also requested that, because of a conflict, a new attorney be appointed for the teen at the next hearing.

The boy is charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court with attempted murder, a first-degree felony; discharge of a firearm causing serious injury, a first-degree felony; discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony; and possession of a gun on school property, a class A misdemeanor.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero