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Probe into Utah girl left in holding cell has 2 Uintah deputies on leave

Published August 9, 2013 9:36 am

Probe • Teenager was left alone long after the building closed.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Two Uintah County sheriff's deputies have been put on administrative leave as an investigation continues into how a teenage girl was forgotten for nearly eight hours inside an 8th District Court holding cell.

Chief Deputy John Laursen said on Friday the courthouse closed at 5 p.m. on Aug. 1, but Laursen said the girl — who had managed to slip out of her handcuffs when finally discovered — is believed to have been in the cell from 3 p.m. to 10:37 p.m.

A cleaning crew heard her screaming and notified the sheriff's office.

The two deputies, whose names were not released, were acting as bailiffs for 8th District Juvenile Court on that day. They were put on paid leave Thursday pending the results of the sheriff's internal affairs investigation, Laursen said.

Earlier in the day, the teen had been ordered by the 8th District Juvenile Court to the Split Mountain Youth Detention Center for incarceration. The juvenile facility neighbors the courthouse, and upon her release from the holding cell that is where the girl was taken.

The cell did have a restroom and running water, and the girl was in good health when found.

Laursen said that in addition to determining blame for the incident and appropriate disciplinary measures, the sheriff's office is reviewing courthouse-related policies and procedures.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims