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Teen charged in Utah high school stabbing

Published May 15, 2014 4:02 pm

Crime • Victim was hospitalized in critical condition, but was able to talk to deputies.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A teenager could face up to life in prison for allegedly stabbing his Duchesne High School classmate.

The 18-year-old was charged in 8th District Court Thursday with aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury, a first-degree felony, and possession of a dangerous weapon on school premises, a misdemeanor.

The charging documents shed more light on the Wednesday fight that hospitalized his 17-year-old classmate in critical condition.

About 11 a.m. Wednesday, the two students were in physical education class on the football field when they started fighting, according to the charges. Both of them were throwing punches before the teacher and other classmates broke them up, the charges add. They were both told to report to the office.

A witness saw the 18-year-old go into the old gym locker room and the 17-year-old went in after him, according to the charges. The younger student came out a few seconds later saying he had been stabbed, the charges add.

A Duchesne County Sheriff's sergeant arrived and saw two wounds, one on the victim's back and one on his right arm. The 17-year-old victim was taken to Uintah Basin Medical Center in critical condition, according to the release.

The wounded student was later moved to University Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Other witnesses told investigators that they saw the older student leave the locker room, drop a knife, pick it back up and head for the parking lot. There, a witness told investigators that the older student tried to get in his car and leave, but someone opened the passenger door and took the keys out of the ignition, according to the charges.

The 18-year-old suspect was taken into police custody.

While at the hospital, the wounded student told deputies that he had been in a fight with the older student and was stabbed in the locker room, the charges add. While his injuries were life-threatening, doctors have been able to stabilize him, according to a Duchesne County Sheriff's news release.

"Yesterday, our community experienced an unfortunate event that affected our children," Duchesne County Sheriff Chief Deputy David Boren wrote in a Facebook post. "Violent school altercations are rare for our community, so it really hits home when something like this happens. On behalf of the sheriff, officers, and staff, we extend our thoughts and prayers to the injured student and family."

Boren also praised the quick actions of emergency responders and school officials. The high school and nearby Duchesne Elementary School were temporarily placed on lock down.

Boren added that "a crisis response team was in place yesterday and again today to talk with students."

mmcfall@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mikeypanda