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Early release for 2 brothers convicted of killing West Valley City police officer in 2016

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Two of the three teens convicted of killing a West Valley City police officer in 2016 have been released from custody early. (Photo: KUTV)

Two of the three teens convicted of killing a West Valley City police officer in 2016 were released from custody early.

One of the teens, 17, was released to parole on May 28, which was earlier than his expected released date of Oct. 6, according to court documents.

Kaitlin Felsted with the Utah Department of Corrections stated the decision was made in "collaboration between the [Utah Department of Corrections] and the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole to initiate some early releases to create capacity within correctional facilities as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to increase throughout the state." Those released early were within 180 days of their scheduled date and had an approved address, Felsted said.

The 18-year-old has been on probation since March.

The teens spent less than four years in custody for the death of Officer Cody Brotherson, who was killed in the line of duty.

The three teenagers, accused of stealing a car, were convicted of striking and killing Brotherson in November 2016 as he attempted to help pursuing officers by putting spike strips on the road.

The two brothers, ages 14 and 15, and a friend who was 16 years old, were originally charged in juvenile court with murder in the death of Brotherson. They all pleaded guilty for their roles in the officers' death, but the 16-year-old and 14-year-old ultimately pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

In July 2017, the teens were ordered to secure care at a juvenile detention facility, along with 1,000 hours of community service for one and 2,000 hours for the other two. The boys could have been sentenced to serve time in youth detention facilities until they reached age 21, but couldn't be held beyond then.

The two teen brothers, now 18 and 17, were transferred to the adult court system after two separate assault incidents.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty in March 2019 to a second-degree felony charge of assault by a prisoner with gang engagement. He was sentenced to one to 15 years in jail, but was released on parole on May 28, according to court officials.

The 18-year-old also got into a fight during a separate incident in January. He reportedly was sentenced to serve up to five years for third-degree felony assault by a prisoner, according to court officials.

The judge, however, stayed the sentence and gave him probation with jail, instead of prison, for 120 days with credit for 55 he'd already served. The misconduct was adjudicated in adult court, even though it happened in juvenile custody.

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