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Utah man convicted of killing Kailey Vijil charged again

SHARE Utah man convicted of killing Kailey Vijil charged again

Jayden Sterzer is led into court for his hearing before 3rd District Juvenile Judge James Michie at the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Sterzer pleaded guilty to raping and killing Kailey Vijil in 2015.

Scott G Winterton

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who was 15 when he lured a 12-year-old West Valley girl out of her house, raped and killed her, now faces a new charge.

Because of that, Jayden Matthew Sterzer, 19, of West Valley City, may soon be transferred to the Utah State Prison.

Sterzer was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with assault by a prisoner, a third-degree felony.

On the night of July 16, 2015, Sterzer went to 12-year-old Kailey Vijil’s house and lured her away from her home by asking if she would help him find his lost cat. Kailey’s body was discovered by searchers about three hours later in a horse pasture near her home. She died from strangulation.

As part of a plea deal, Sterzer pleaded guilty as an adult to murder, a first-degree felony; and sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony. In juvenile court, he was convicted of rape of a child.

He was then ordered to be held in secure care on the juvenile court charge until his 21st birthday, at which time he would be sentenced for his adult convictions.

But now, Sterzer may be heading to the Utah State Prison before he turns 21.

According to charging documents, on Aug. 14 Sterzer came out of his room at the Decker Lake Youth Center and assaulted a staff member.

“Sterzer swung at him, punched him, shoved him against a wall, put him in a headlock/chokehold and head-butted him,” the charges state.

Other staff members came to the man’s aid and took “Sterzer to the ground” and restrained him, according to charging documents.

On Aug. 20, he was transferred from the youth detention facility to the Salt Lake County Jail, according to court records. He was released to the custody of his mother on Aug. 26, but a formal arrest warrant was issued that same day and he was rebooked into jail that night, court records state.

“The state requests that the defendant be held in the Salt Lake County Jail on a $1,000,007 warrant and come before the court to be sentenced for the murder and sex abuse of a child charges,” according to the state’s affidavit.

A hearing to review the status of Sterzer’s case has been scheduled for Sept. 9. He faces a sentence of 15 years to life in prison whenever he is sentenced on the murder conviction.