Utah teen who murdered his 2 brothers sentenced to 15 years to life

A previous plea deal fell apart because of an assault on a fellow inmate.

Courtesy | Weber County jail Aza Vidinhar

Farmington • A 17-year-old Davis County boy who murdered his two younger brothers was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years to life in prison.

Aza Ray Vidinhar pleaded guilty in June, admitting that he fatally stabbed 10-year-old Alexander Vidinhar and 4-year-old Benjie Vidinhar in May 2013.

In an unusual plea deal, the teen was allowed to plead guilty to Alex's murder in juvenile court, and a similar plea was entered in adult court for Benjie's death. Attorneys agreed that he would not be sentenced for the murder in adult court until he was released from the juvenile system — either at age 21 or until juvenile authorities determined they no longer could help him.

But the deal unraveled in late March, after Vidinhar was sentenced to the Utah State Prison for up to five years for assaulting a fellow inmate at an Ogden juvenile-detention facility.

Because he is now in adult prison and no longer in the care of Juvenile Justice Services, he was sentenced in adult court on the murder case.

Second District Judge David Hamilton ordered the conviction for the murder case to run consecutively to the assault case.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Brandon Poll had asked for consecutive terms, saying he believes Vidinhar has "a callous indifference toward life."

Poll said Vidinhar had stabbed Alex 88 times, while the younger brother was stabbed 22 times. Poll said the teen has told interviewers that he planned to kill his brothers once before because they were being too noisy, but didn't do it after the boys became more quiet and he felt "weird" about murdering them.

Throughout his pre-sentence interview with Adult Probation and Parole, the teen said he didn't care how the murders affected his parents and showed a lack of empathy, the prosecutor argued.

"Over and over again, he indicates that he doesn't really care how his crimes affected others," Poll told the judge.

Defense attorney Todd Utzinger had asked for concurrent prison terms, saying his client had a "long road ahead of him." Utzinger said that while Vidinhar did make statements that he didn't care how his crimes affected others, he also has made remarks showing some remorse.

"One of the difficult things about offenders this young is you really don't know where they are emotionally," Utzinger said after the sentencing. "All we know now is we have an immature kid who has some problems.

"... He's a young person who, at a very young age, needed significant treatment that he hasn't received, and unfortunately, now, is less likely to receive in the prison," he continued. "I think he's a kid who has a lot of serious mental health issues that we don't understand at this point."

When the judge gave Vidinhar a chance to speak Wednesday, the teen responded, "There's nothing."

Vidinhar's father and grandfather attended the sentencing hearing, but did not speak in court.

Vidinhar, then 15, was arrested May 22, 2013, after his mother called 911 to report finding Benjie dead on the floor of her West Point home. Alex was later found dead in another part of the house; both boys had been stabbed to death.

A motive for the killings has never been publicly revealed.


Twitter: @jm_miller

Aza Vidinhar, 15, of West Point. Courtesy photo

Aza Vidinhar