News short: Death penalty sought in 2010 double-murder case

ST. GEORGE – Prosecutors have filed notice with the court that they intend to seek the death penalty for the man accused of the 2010 slaying of 20-year-old Jerrica Christensen of Leeds.

Prosecutors with the Washington County Attorney’s Office filed the notice in Fifth District Court earlier this week for Brandon Perry Smith, 32, of St. George, who is accused of beating Christensen and slitting her throat.

The accusation stems from the Dec. 2010 murders of Christensen and 27-year-old Brandie Jerden, of St. George, and attempted murder of James Fiske, also of St. George. Paul Ashton pleaded guilty to shooting Jerden and Fiske and was sentenced in November 2013 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Smith was subsequently charged with first-degree felony aggravated murder.

The county attorney’s office filed the intent to seek the death penalty Tuesday.

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