The boy accused of killing two fellow Hunter High School students will remain in juvenile detention after the state requested Wednesday to take a few more days to prepare formal charges.
The 14-year-old boy is accused of shooting and killing Paul Tahi, 15, and Tivani Lopati, 14, — both freshman football players at Hunter High School — as well as critically injuring 15-year-old Ephraim Asiata, on Thursday on the sidewalk near 4100 South and the Mountain View Corridor.
The boy, whom the Deseret News is not naming at this time, made a brief video appearance at juvenile court on Wednesday for a detention hearing. Prosecutors requested more time to file formal charges, saying they will likely have them completed next week sometime, between Jan. 24 and Jan. 26. The state indicated that it intends to have the boy charged as an adult.
The next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. The teen's defense attorney did not object to the continuation. The boy will remain in juvenile detention at least until the hearing.
The boy's parents sat as they watched the hearing from another video screen. Just as the hearing was about to wrap up, the teen asked if he could speak to the judge.
"I'm a good kid, I really am," he began to say before 3rd District Juvenile Judge Mark May cut him off and advised the boy not to say anything else until he had the chance to talk to an attorney.
West Valley police said the shootings happened just before 11 a.m. on Jan. 13, when two groups of Hunter High students familiar with each other began fighting along the south side of 4100 South.
"What we know right now is there was a dispute between two groups. The dispute escalated to a physical fight and that fight escalated to a shooting," police said.
Initially, four people were taken into custody, but only the 14-year-old was booked into juvenile detention. West Valley police stated that other juveniles may still face formal charges.