Teen accused of killing 12-year old West Valley girl to stand trial
MATHESON COURTHOUSE – The teen who was once considered incompetent to stand trial for the sexual assault and murder of a 12-year old West Valley girl has been found to have had his competency restored.
The teen is accused of luring Kailey Vijil from her home in 2015, pretending he needed help looking for a lost dog. Prosecutors say he then sexually assaulted her then strangled her.
Inside the courtroom, Judge James Michie acknowledged the teen was still dealing with multiple mental disorders. However, the teen had completed the competency restoration program and the case against him can proceed. This was welcome news to Vijil’s father, Orlando. He says his daughter was an innocent girl. “She was very generous. She liked animals and she always gave money to the poor,” he says.
(Photo Credit: Deseret News)
While Vijil is happy the case will continue, he doesn’t feel like this is a “win.” Vijil says, “I don’t think there were any winners. We both are going through the same thing, both [sets of] parents. There’s nothing to celebrate here.”
Since his daughter was killed, Vijil says the family’s suffering has not eased up. “Probably ‘hell on earth’ for me, I guess. [The accused killer’s family] lives just right down the block from me. Then, I can’t go the other way down the other street because that’s where she passed away,” he says.
Vijil family attorney Spencer Banks says they want the teen to be tried as an adult. The defendant was 15 at the time of the murder. Banks says, “Considering the egregious nature of the crime and his age, we’re certainly hopeful he’ll be certified.”
The judge says he wants to have a preliminary hearing as quickly as possible. A scheduling hearing is set for early December.
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