If he had been following the rules of his probation last August — when 16-year-old Gavin Hone was killed — a teenager would not have been sentenced for murder and aggravated robbery in Gavin's death, 4th District Juvenile Judge Judge F. Richards Smith said Tuesday.

The boy, whom KSL.com has chosen not to name at this time, is the fifth teen to be sentenced in the case.

On Aug. 1, five boys arranged to meet Gavin at the pavilion at the Lindon View Murdock Canal Trailhead about 2 a.m. They had planned to rob Gavin during a low-level drug deal in order to pay a debt that another boy owed. When Gavin handed his money through a car window, one teenager pointed a gun at him, and others in the car began punching him, according to charging documents.

Gavin was pushed from the car, which then ran over his leg. Deputy Utah County attorney Chris Yannelli said the driver was swerving and accelerated quickly. A friend of Gavin's, who was watching from another car, drove him to his parents' house while he was seizing and bleeding, the attorney said.

For each of the five teenage boys' sentences, judges have ruled to allow Juvenile Justice and Youth Services to hold them in juvenile detention until they turn 25, but that division will determine how long they are to remain in custody. Each boy was also ordered to pay $10,000 to Gavin's family.

Yannelli said Tuesday's sentencing is unique from the others because it was for the teenager with the most extensive criminal history — he was serving probation, had a court-imposed curfew and was supposed to be in St. George on Aug. 1. He was 16 at the time.

Yannelli said the teenager has a history of charges for using brass knuckles in an assault, possession of marijuana with an intent to distribute, robbery involving a machete, and receiving a stolen firearm. He said a Glock 19 the teenager brought to a party was discharged and struck two people, and the teen then hid pieces of that gun in different places. The boy still owed $600 in the case to help with medical bills, according to Yannelli.

Tuesday was the fifth time Gavin's family members spoke to a judge about the loss of their son, nephew and brother — and they said it gets harder each time. Statements from his family were very similar to what they told different judges and teenagers on four other occasions, three times in Provo and once in American Fork.

They talked about how hard it was to hear about Gavin's death — and urged the teenagers to turn their lives around.

Gavin Hone, 16, was killed in a robbery on Aug. 1, 2022. The last of five teenagers was sentenced for his murder on Tuesday.
Gavin Hone, 16, was killed in a robbery on Aug. 1, 2022. The last of five teenagers was sentenced for his murder on Tuesday. | GoFundMe

The judge said he was sorry the family had to go through it again, but told them he appreciates their courage and willingness to participate in an important part of the court process.

Smith said the heart of this issue was marijuana, and too many people think it's OK to break the law by using marijuana.

"It's stupid, it's destructive. It results in this kind of devastation," the judge said. "And any of you ... that think it's all right ... you're as stupid as (this teenager) was that night. Knock it off, because there's no way to predict the consequences."

In the sentencing, the teenager said he was "truly sorry" and he did not intend to hurt Gavin.

"If I could right now, I would trade my life for his. He didn't deserve what happened to him," he said.

The boy said he wasn't asking for forgiveness, and he hopes the family can find peace.

The teenager's mother also spoke to the court, saying her son shattered lives, his own and the Hone family's.

She told her son to be grateful for the mercy the Hone family showed in its darkest moments — including allowing the case to remain in juvenile court, where the toughest sentence available is detention until he turns 25. The mom said she doesn't know if she could have done that. She said the Hone family gave him an opportunity to make better choices.

"I believe you can turn things around ... and above all I hope that you never make that family feel like they made the wrong choice by letting you have the opportunity to have a life. Never make them regret this, please, because ... that would be the worst thing you could do to them on top of what's already happened," she said.

The judge also encouraged not just the teenager being sentenced but others listening in the courtroom to honor Gavin's life by being "a contributor instead of a destroyer" and making their lives meaningful. He said he hopes the teen who was sentenced takes the opportunity to make changes in his life.

In addition to the sentence for this case, Smith ruled that the teenager had unsuccessfully completed probation in another case, and those charges are no longer eligible to be dismissed. He will be held in custody on both cases.