ST. GEORGE – A murder case involving an 18-year-old Toquerville resident was postponed for another 60 days at a court hearing Thursday to allow the defendant to undergo a mental evaluation, as well as provide the defense time to review information provided by the prosecution.
Joshua David Canfield, 18, appeared in Fifth District Court with lawyer Ariel Taylor Thursday morning. Canfield is accused of the murder of 58-year-old Toquerville resident Geraldine Bommerito in March. He was 17 at the time, though Utah law allows minors ages 16 and up to be charged as adults in homicide cases. Canfield turned 18 shortly after his arrest.
“I think we have nearly everything we need,” Taylor told Judge John Walton concerning requested information received from the prosecution.
Taylor also told the court that he was in the process of arranging a mental evaluation for his client. In order to allow time for the evaluation and a review of the information from the prosecution, the attorney requested the court continue the case another 60 days.
Washington County Deputy Attorney Brian Filter said the prosecution agreed with the continuance. He also said everything that the defense had requested thus far has been provided. As well, from the state’s perspective, Filter said, he is ready to go with the case.
Canfield’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 21 at 8:59 a.m.
Charges and background
Canfield was charged on March 24 with first-degree felonies for murder and aggravated robbery, a second-degree felony for arson, three counts of second-degree felony theft, a second-degree felony for obstruction of justice, third-degree felonies for aggravated assault and drug possession, class-A misdemeanor theft and three class-A misdemeanors for charges relating to assault against a police officer.
The charges stem from an investigation of a residential burglary in Toquerville by Washington County Sheriff’s deputies on March 19 in which Canfield was listed as a suspect. Two firearms and some collectible coins were stolen in the burglary.
Canfield was later seen at a convenience store in Washington City, where he made a purchase with some coins that matched the description of those taken in the burglary. Witnesses provided police with the license plate number of the car Canfield was driving and it was registered to Bommerito. Deputies then responded to her home.
Deputies found Bommerito dead in her home in Toquerville on March 19 from what appeared to be a gunshot wound. As the investigation continued, deputies found Bommerito’s car in Springdale and it had been destroyed by fire.
Deputies named Canfield as a “person of interest,” and ultimately found and arrested him in Springdale. At the time of his arrest it was reported that he had two firearms in his possession and was belligerent and combative with detectives when they initially contacted him.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
St. George News reporter Scott Heinecke contributed to this story.
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