Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Attorney requests mental evaluation for Utah teen charged with murder
Courts » Defense makes request based on observations, communications.
First Published Aug 22 2014 02:29 pm • Last Updated Aug 22 2014 09:48 pm

An attorney for a Toquerville teen charged as an adult in the death of a neighbor woman has asked a judge to order a competency review for the teen.

Joshua David Canfield, 18, is accused of shooting and killing 58-year-old Geraldine Bommarito on March 18 or 19.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Canfield appeared in 5th District Court on Thursday, where defense attorney Aric Cramer asked for an evaluation to determine whether his client is competent to stand trial.

According to a motion filed in court, Cramer said this request was based on his "observations and communication" with the teen.

A review hearing was set for October, according to the St. George Spectrum.

Canfield, though he was 17 years old at the time of the alleged crimes, was charged as an adult with first-degree felony counts of murder and aggravated robbery, one count of second-degree felony arson, three counts of second-degree felony theft, one charge of second-degree felony obstruction of justice, along with third-degree felony charges of aggravated assault and possession or use of a controlled substance. He was also charged with misdemeanor theft and two counts of assaulting a police officer.

Canfield faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murder count in adult court. In the juvenile system, he could be kept at a detention facility only until he turned 21.

Cramer said shortly after charges were filed in March that he planned to file a motion asking the judge to move the case to the juvenile court system — though a 2010 Utah statute mandates that 16- and 17-year-olds charged with murder are under the jurisdiction of adult court.

Sheriff’s deputies found Bommarito’s body on March 19 while investigating an unrelated burglary at a Toquerville home, where two firearms and collectable coins were taken that morning.

While investigating the burglary, deputies identified the teen — who is Bommarito’s neighbor — as a possible suspect.

story continues below
story continues below

Earlier on March 19, the teen was seen at a convenience store in Washington City, where he made a purchase using coins consistent with those taken in the burglary, according to the probable-cause statement.

Witnesses provided a vehicle description and license plate number for the vehicle driven by the suspect, which investigators traced back to Bommarito, the registered owner. When investigators went to the residence listed on the vehicle registration, they discovered the body of the woman, who had been shot at least once.

That afternoon, detectives located Canfield in Springdale and took him into custody.

According to a probable cause statement, the teen was "belligerent and combative" with arresting officers. He was not booked into jail until three days later because he was receiving treatment at a medical facility, according to court records.


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.