Salt Lake City, UT - Three juvenile gang members who killed West Valley City Police Officer Cody Brotherson were sentenced as juveniles on Monday, after prosecutors refused to charge them as adults.
3rd District Juvenile Judge Kim Hornak ordered that the three killers be locked up for "as long as possible." Unfortunately, because they are juveniles, that's not very long.
Two brothers, age 14 and 15, and their 16 year old friend pleaded guilty last month to charges relating to the murder of Officer Cody Brotherson, according to KSL.
On November 6, 2016, Officer Cody Brotherson was involved in in a pursuit of a vehicle containing the three gang members. The pursuit began shortly after 3 AM when officers observed a vehicle bearing Florida registration that appeared suspicious, which later turned out to be stolen.
They continued to observe the three occupants as they exited the vehicle and stole a second vehicle which was parked at a nearby apartment complex.
At one point during the pursuit, Officer Cody Brotherson bravely exited his police vehicle to lay down spike strips to attempt to slow the vehicle, and was struck by the vehicle as it was traveling at a high rate of speed.
An officer who witnessed the collision said that he saw the vehicle swerve towards Officer Brotherson.
The officer was thrown approximately 50 feet. Officer Brotherson was pronounced dead at the scene.
The stolen vehicle went off the road, then the three gang members fled on foot before they were apprehended.
The killer behind the wheel who swerved to hit Officer Brotherson was not officially identified, but the 16-year-old pleaded guilty to murder.
The 14-year-old who urged the driver to flee from police pleaded guilty to manslughter.
The 15-year-old only pleaded guilty to stealing the car.
The defense attorneys claimed that the boys were remorseful and want to turn their lives around, but they didn't show it.
Officer Brotherson's mother, Jenny Brotherson, said that she had seen 14-year-old roll his eyes and resist instructions to stand up when the judge entered the courtroom.
"He shows zero respect for authority, he is violent," Brotherson said of the 14-year-old, according to KSL.
The maximum amount of time that the juvenile system can hold the killers is until their 21st birthday.
As the mother of one of the boys left the courtroom after sentencing, a group of boys who accompanied her grinned and flashed gang signs.