Teen arrested, faces criminal charges in Toquerville homicide

WASHINGTON COUNTY – A teenager named as a suspect in the death of a Toquerville woman has been arrested and charged with criminal homicide.

The 17-year-old, identified in a statement from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office as Joshua David Canfield, was arrested and booked into the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Purgatory Correctional Facility.

“He has been charged with one count of criminal homicide in relation to the incident occurring in Toquerville, Utah, earlier this week,” the Sheriff’s Office said in the statement.

The Utah statute the Sheriff’s Office cites in the statement, on which the charges are brought, allows law enforcement to charge juveniles as adults.

Home of the woman found dead by sheriff's deputies, victim of an apparent homicide, Toquerville, Utah, March 19, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Home of the woman found dead by sheriff’s deputies, victim of an apparent homicide, Toquerville, Utah, March 19, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Additional charges are under review by the Washington County Attorney’s Office.

Canfield was originally a person of interest, and then a suspect, in the death of Geraldine Bommerito, 58, who was found dead in her home Wednesday, by sheriff’s deputies investigating a residential burglary nearby. The Sheriff’s Office has previously stated it believes the suspect knew Bommerito, though was not related to her.

According to the statement, the booking  is being submitted to the 5th District Court in Washington County. This is pursuant to Utah Code Annotated Section 78A-6-701 which grants the District Court exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of criminal homicide committed by persons 16 years of age or older. In other words, it allows the authorities to charge a teen as an adult in cases of murder and aggravated murder.

Canfield will be held in segregation at the correctional facility and will not be housed with general population until after he turns 18.

“Mr. Canfield is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law,” the Sheriff’s Office said in its statement released Saturday.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  • Bob Vosper March 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Now Josh will be held accountable for his actions. Hopefully he can turn his life around.

    • tony yayo March 22, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      How can you turn your life around serving a life term prison sentence? Wait until he turns 18 and is released to the big dogs.

    • Bub March 23, 2014 at 1:04 am

      “Hopefully he can turn his life around.”… maybe too late for that. hmm…

    • DoubleTap March 24, 2014 at 8:56 am

      He has already turned his life around. From freedom to losing freedom.
      Somewhere (else) he made a wrong turn….

  • TOMMIE March 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    LIFE WITH NO PAROLE. HE WENT THERE KNOWING HE WOULD TAKE SOMEONE OUT IF HE HAD TO. WHY ELSE WOULD HE TAKE A GUN TO A HOME BURGLARY. ITS ALL VERY SAD !!!

  • Ray September 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    It has been sometime since the death of my friend Geri. I look at these statements such as ” turn his life around”. Really? You are worried about HIS life ? What about the life that he took? I hope the authorities give him the death penalty. She was a good and decent woman. She worked hard for the life she had. To have that taken away from a shit kid like this is horrible.

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