DAVE & DUJANOVIC

What’s behind random acts of violence in Utah?

Sep 22, 2022, 6:30 PM
centerville arson fire...
FILE: A Centerville home is engulfed in flames started by an armed home invasion suspect. (Wendi Shegrud)
(Wendi Shegrud)

SALT LAKE CITY — In an act of random violence, a 15-year-old intruder opens an unlocked door and stabs a sleeping couple at 3:50 a.m. Tuesday in Taylorsville. Detectives said the boy was a stranger to the couple and entered the home with the intent to cause violence.

Related: Couple stabbed in Taylorsville home, 15-year-old suspect caught

In July, a stranger broke into a Centerville home and attacked three elderly people, dousing one with gasoline and setting the home ablaze.

The six police officers who entered the burning home were later treated for smoke inhalation. Damage to the home and a nearby motorhome was estimated at $1.2 million. The injuries to the three victims were not considered to be life-threatening, said Centerville Police Lt. Allen Ackerson.

Firefighters battled the blaze for about 45 minutes before knocking it down.

Related: Police say home in Centerville set on fire by armed home-invasion suspect

Random acts of violence and the courts

 KSL legal analyst Greg Skordas joins Dave & Dujanovic to discuss the recent spate of random violence in Utah.

“There’s just a lot of trouble with our youth right now — a lot of mental illness that’s not being properly diagnosed,” Skordas said. “We have these things happening with our young people that are frightening.”

Mental illness is being diagnosed better now,  and that might be why we are seeing it show up in random acts of violence more often, Skordas said.

“Young kids have been committing crimes, not necessarily to this violent of a nature, for decades or centuries, probably,” he said. “But we sort of blamed it on youth and foolishness, and now we’re getting into issues involving mental health.”

“The suspect [in this random act of violence] is just 15 years old, [that’s] one of the most shocking parts of this,” Dave said.

Skordas said it will be difficult to place the suspect in the adult court system. However, that doesn’t mean he will get off easy.

“We do have what we call the Serious Youth Offender Act . . . That allows us to bring younger kids, usually the 16- and 17-year-olds, to enter the adult system for really serious crimes. A 15-year-old is more on the cusp,” Skordas said. ” . . . He could be technically held in custody, juvenile custody, until the age of 21, so it’s not like a slap on the wrist anymore.”

Random acts of violence and ‘The Letter’

Debbie mentioned another case of random violence from 1996, which is the subject of The Letter podcast (first of the two below):

“Yvette Rodier was shot several times by a stranger as she and her good friend Zach set up a camera to take pictures of the moon [at Little Dell Reservoir].” 

“The [gunman] was actually potentially looking to die by suicide, but he decided instead to turn the gun on these two individuals, these young people who were up there that night. Do you see that as a cry for help as crazy as that may seem and sound?” Debbie asked.

“It’s sad,” Skordas said, “but some of these people are just so troubling, so long depressed that something sort of triggers them to get that attention and to get that sort of excitement that they’re missing in their lives.”

 

 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Utah Democrats Gene Davis...
Simone Seikaly

Attorney for Sen. Gene Davis says Davis won’t resign from the Utah Senate

The Salt Lake County Democratic Party asked for Davis to resign immediately because of allegations of sexual harassment made against him.
19 hours ago
ovarian cancer...
Simone Seikaly

A new chance for a fighting chance against ovarian cancer

What may be most alarming about ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are there, but they are quiet and can be mistaken for something else.
2 days ago
...
Curt Gresseth

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah talks about what FBI can take off your cellphone

A legal expert joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how the FBI can obtain evidence of a crime from a cellphone.
6 days ago
Government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River. (AP...
Curt Gresseth

Yuma mayor talks about migrants illegally crossing into city: US has the laws to fix problem

An Arizona mayor talks with Dave & Dujanovic about migrants coming into the country illegally. He says the U.S. has the laws to fix the problems.
8 days ago
BYU study COVID money...
Elizabeth Weiler

Utah’s young adults being launched into the world of financial responsibility

Because young adults are rarely in personal high-income situations, they are categorized as low-income, making them at higher risk for credit card debt. 
8 days ago
EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 17: The line of scrimmage between the Oregon Ducks and the Brigham Young Cou...
Curt Gresseth

Reporter talks about ugly chant from students at BYU-Oregon game

A Deseret News reporter tat the BYU-Oregon football game on Saturday talks about the anti-LDS chant heard and filmed from the student section and what may happen next.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
What’s behind random acts of violence in Utah?