Man who killed Dylan Rounds sentenced after plea deal

Jul 1, 2024, 7:44 PM

James Brenner is sentenced in 1st District Court for the murder of 19-year-old Dylan Rounds. (Pool ...

James Brenner is sentenced in 1st District Court for the murder of 19-year-old Dylan Rounds. (Pool photo)

(Pool photo)

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — The man who killed 19-year-old Dylan Rounds was sentenced in 1st District Court on Monday.

As the result of a plea deal, Judge Brandon J. Maynard sentenced James Brenner to spend from 1 to 15 years in prison for each of the three counts he pleaded guilty to.

FILE: The Utah Office of the Medical Examiner has confirmed that the remains of Dylan Rounds have been found.

(Photos of Dylan Rounds provided by the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office)

He admitted he killed Dylan Rounds in 2022. But his charges were reduced from first-degree aggravated murder to second-degree felony murder.

Brenner will spend at least three years in prison for Rounds’s murder. The judge asked the parole board to keep Brenner in prison as long as they legally could.

And he told the court he wished he could have done more.

“I wish I could do something more,” Maynard said. “I understand though that when this plea deal was offered it was with the consent of the family in an effort to bring closure.

“So there is nothing more that I can do.”

Dylan Rounds was missing for years

Dylan Rounds was 19 when his family reported him missing to the Box Elder County Sheriff two years ago.  He’d been living in Lucin, Utah, a small town on the state’s border with Nevada.

At that time, his family told East Idaho News that Rounds had encountered a barefoot man on a gravel road. The man reportedly asked for a ride and if he could use Rounds’s cell phone. 

In March, 2023, officials in North Dakota charged Brenner with Rounds’s murder.

But it wasn’t until just a few months ago that Brenner showed police where he left Rounds’s body after killing him.

Rounds’s father Justin Rounds spoke emotionally at the sentencing on Monday.

“I wasn’t going to let you come in here and limp like a little gimp and walk out with nobody saying anything to you at all,” Justin Rounds said. “You don’t have the balls enough to look at anybody in the eye, or even look at anybody. Turn around and look at the people who you’ve affected.”

There was a moment in court on Monday when the judge requested Brenner stand and face the gallery where Rounds’s family was sitting.

Brenner did not comply with the judge’s request.


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Man who killed Dylan Rounds sentenced after plea deal