Teenage Boys Allegedly Plotted to Kill Their Friend Because They Didn't Want to Snapchat Her Anymore
Deserae Turner's parents were worried when their 14-year-old daughter didn't come home from school on February 16.
According to her GoFundMe page, Deserae was found hours later by a family friend. The unresponsive teenage girl was rushed to the hospital with a gunshot wound in the back of her head.
This week, Deseret News reports, police officers believe they know who shot her and the reason why.
Cache County Attorney James Swink told the courts that Deserae had been invited to meet at a dry section of a canal near her school by her 16-year-old friend. He said he wanted to sell her a knife.
She went down to meet him and woke up in the hospital weeks later.
According to FOX 13, once out of her coma, Deserae testified to police in the hospital.
She told police that she was surprised to see her friend had arrived with another person. The last thing she remembered was being asked to find his ring in the mud.
While giving her testimony to Smithfield police detective Brandon Muir, Deserae asked the police officers whether or not the boy had found his ring.
But by this point, the police had already interviewed all of her close friends and told her they suspected that the boy she met at the canal was likely the triggerman. Muir told the courts that the young girl couldn't believe that her friend had shot her:
“She said she was surprised, she had a look of shock on her face.”
During the preliminary hearings, the prosecution played Deserae's testimony video in court. The suspect, her alleged friend, had tears running down his face.
The prosecution argued that both the boy and his friend (who are not being identified at this time) had been plotting to kill her.
Cache County Sheriff's deputy Brian Groves interviewed both of the boys. Groves told the courts that the two boys had joked about wanting to “get rid of her” weeks earlier while they were playing video games.
Her friend had been annoyed that she kept messaging him. He wrote in his police statement, which was read aloud in court:
“I just didn't want anything to do with Snapchatting her anymore.”
He told Groves that he planned to slit her throat, but got too scared and ended up shooting her with his brother's gun.
The suspect told the officer that he likely wouldn't have shot her if the other boy hadn't been there.
Groves said the two boys stole her backpack and the $55 she had inside. They broke her phone and iPod in half. They threw most of the contents of the bag in a dumpster and left her to die in the canal.
Originally only one suspect was being charged with the shooting, but it has been determined that the other boy had a large role in the planning of her attempted murder.
The boys are currently being charged with attempted murder and robbery. It has not been determined whether or not they will stand trial.
Deserae's father said in a press video this week that his daughter is still recovering in the hospital:
“We continue to be hopeful for improvements in our daughter's condition. She has undergone a tough surgery and continues to fight for the ability to complete daily tasks many of us take for granted. As of today she has been admitted to inpatient rehab services and will continue to undergo intensive therapy.”
The bullet is still lodged in her head, pressed up against her skull, where it may remain for the rest of her life.