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.
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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