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Cops’s Killers Get Paroled In Under 4 Years, Promptly Go Back To Committing Crimes

Salt Lake City, UT – Teenage brothers convicted of murdering a 25-year-old Utah police officer got early release from prison and then promptly went out and incited a riot that led to a shooting.

West Valley Police Officer Cody Brotherson was murdered in the line of duty on Nov. 6, 2016 by three juveniles, ages 14, 15, and 16, who intentionally slammed a stolen car into him as he deployed spike strips onto the roadway in an effort to stop their vehicle, KTSU reported at the time.

An officer who witnessed the collision said that he saw the vehicle swerve towards Officer Brotherson.

The vehicle was traveling approximately 80 mph at the moment of impact, according to KSL.

The teens later confessed to having struck and killed the three-year veteran of the department while they were trying to escape in a stolen vehicle, KUTV reported.

All three occupants were gang members, and they received the maximum juvenile sentence of incarceration until the age of 21, according to KTSU.

While they were in prison, the criminal behavior continued.

Two of the boys – now 17-year-old Lawrence Boggs and 18-year-old Christopher Boggs – committed new assault offenses that resulted in them being expelled from the juvenile justice system and transferred into the adult justice system, KSL reported.

According to court records, Lawrence Boggs pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony charge of assault by a prisoner with gang enhancement in March of 2019.

The conviction stemmed from an incident in 2018, during which the inmate and two other assailants physically assaulted another inmate, KSL reported.

“The assault was motivated by a prior gang altercation that occurred earlier in the facility,” according to court documents.

He was sentenced to one-to-15 years in jail on the assault conviction, but was paroled early on May 28 in an effort to reduce prison populations to help curb the spread of COVID-19, KSL reported.

Meanwhile, his 18-year-old brother, Christopher, picked up a new assault charge in January when he was involved in a premeditated attack on another inmate, investigators said.

He was seen kicking, hitting, and punching the victim during the vicious jailhouse assault.

“[He] was also shown resisting against staff members and shoving staff members as they attempted to restrain him during the incident,” according to court records.

Christopher Boggs was convicted of felony assault by a prison inmate in March, and was sentenced to just 120 days in jail with 55 days credit for time previously served.

He was released onto parole on April 17.

According to Utah Department of Corrections spokesperson Kaitlin Felsted, the brothers were granted early release “to create capacity within correctional facilities as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued to increase throughout the state,” KUTV reported.

Police said the brothers quickly began committing new offenses after being turned loose into the community, Gephardt Daily reported.

Lawrence Boggs was apprehended after he allegedly incited a riot that led to a 17-year-old male being shot at a West Valley City Extended Stay America at approximately 3:30 a.m. on July 11.

“[Lawrence] Boggs reportedly invited his own associates to come to the hotel, after which, a fight with the rival group broke out that led to the gunfire incident,” West Valley City Police Department (WVCPD) spokesperson Roxeanne Vainuku told KUTV.

The 17-year old male remains hospitalized in critical-but-stable condition, Gephardt Daily reported.

Approximately 40 people were gathered at the hotel when the shooting occurred, according to KUTV.

Police found bullet holes throughout the hotel hallway and in the door of the room where the teen was shot, Gephardt Daily reported.

Multiple firearms were recovered at the scene.

Investigators said the groups appeared to have exchanged gunfire during an altercation they believe was gang-related.

On Monday morning, a West Valley police officer spotted a white Lexus flying down Redwood Road at speeds topping 200 miles per hour, Gephardt Daily reported.

Police managed to stop the driver at 2830 West 3500 South after determining that the vehicle had been reported as stolen.

“Four people were inside the vehicle, including a 14-year-old male, a 17-year-old male, a 17-year-old male with gunshot wounds, who has since been identified as Lawrence Boggs, and the driver, an 18-year-old male identified as Christopher Boggs,” police said in a news release.

Vainuku later confirmed that Christopher and Lawrence Boggs were the same teenagers convicted in the 2016 murder of Officer Brotherson.

According to investigators, Lawrence Boggs’ gunshot wounds were the result of a separate shooting incident that occurred in Salt Lake City, Gephardt Daily reported.

Lawrence Boggs remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Christopher Boggs was arrested on charges of violation of parole or probation and suspicion of second-class felony theft by receiving stolen property and was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, Gephardt Daily reported.

WVPD is still searching for one suspect in connection with the shooting at the Extended Stay America.

Criminal defense attorney Greg Skordas explained to KSL how the convicted cop-killers ended up being released from prison early for committing new violent offenses.

“When they got into the juvenile system, engaging in a fight put them eligible to go into the adult criminal system,” Skordas said. “They received punishment that has now allowed them to be paroled. They’re on the street even though — I know it’s sort of odd — had they not committed those crimes, they would still be in the state’s custody in the juvenile system.”

He said that the convicted cop-killers were eligible to be released onto parole because their involvement in the juvenile system was dismissed as soon as they were convicted of new offenses in the adult system, KSL reported.

They served less than four years in prison for killing Officer Brotherson.

His mother, Jenny Brotherson, said that the fact that two of her son’s killers are already out on the streets is evidence that justice was not served.

“It’s time for laws to change,” Jenny Brotherson told KSL. “Especially if you intentionally or recklessly take a life during the act of a crime. There should be adult consequences. You made an adult decision there should be adult consequences.”

“Cody no longer has the opportunity to live his life,” she added. “He doesn’t get to be with his family. He doesn’t get to see all the milestones the rest of us hit. We celebrate his birthday at a cemetery, so for us, it’s a life sentence.”

The grieving mother said that victim services only notified her that one of her son’s killers was being released, even though two were allowed to walk free, KSL reported.

“It’s very, very disheartening,” she said. “I struggle with how that’s even fair. It’s not even about what it does to us — I think they’re a danger to society.”

Jenny Brotherson said she was not at all surprised to hear about the mayhem that has erupted in the wake of the release of her son’s killers.

“This is exactly what we predicted would be the case,” the frustrated mother told the Deseret News. “We were sure their gang affiliation would continue.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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