Three teens charged with murder in West Valley Officer Cody Brotherson’s death


SALT LAKE CITY -- A juvenile court judge has released criminal charges against three teens accused of killing a West Valley City police officer.

They reveal the teens, ages 14 and 15, are charged with murder, aggravated assault, theft, criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools and other serious offenses in connection with the death of Officer Cody Brotherson last month.

The documents were released Friday afternoon after FOX 13 and other news media outlets petitioned 3rd District Juvenile Court Judge Kimberly Hornak. The judge has prohibited the release of the juveniles' names (FOX 13 also does not typically release them unless they are charged as adults).

Officer Brotherson's family said Friday they supported the decision to the release the documents.

Officer Cody Brotherson (photo provided by West Valley City Police Dept.)

Officer Cody Brotherson (photo provided by West Valley City Police Dept.)

"This was the ruling we had hoped for," Jenny Brotherson, Cody's mother, said in an interview with FOX 13.

Officer Brotherson was hit and killed by a car on Nov. 6 while trying to lay down spike strips to stop a stolen car near 2200 West and 4100 South. Police had been chasing a stolen vehicle. The documents do not state which teen was driving the vehicle, but all three are facing murder charges with gang enhancements.

However, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told FOX 13 on Friday that at this point, he was not planning to ask the courts to certify the teens as adults.

If they remained in the juvenile system, the teens would be incarcerated until age 21 -- if they are convicted.

"They'll be out when they're 21. Just in time to enjoy a beer and celebrate and Cody was gone at 25," said Braydon Brotherson, Cody's brother.

Police escort the casket of Officer Cody Brotherson at his funeral on Nov. 14, 2016.

Police escort the casket of Officer Cody Brotherson at his funeral on Nov. 14, 2016.

Jenny Brotherson said she trusted the prosecution's decisions, but said she would like to see laws changed to reflect that younger teens are committing more violent offenses.

The documents show the teens have criminal histories. The 14-year-old has had 12 juvenile delinquency offenses, six of which were referred to the courts.

"These offenses included 5 felonies and 7 misdemeanors or infractions. 2 of these episodes consisted of 2 or more offenses," the documents state.

One of the 15-year-olds had nine delinquency offenses, and the other had seven. Some of those also were referred to the courts for felony charges, the documents said.

As they prepare to face the holidays without him, Brotherson's family said they were thankful to West Valley City police and the community for their support. They also asked people to do something nice in his name this Christmas.

"We just encourage everyone to make sure they tell police officers thank you for what you do," Jenny Brotherson said.