Earlier this year, Deserae Turner woke up in a hospital. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, she was shocked to find out how she got there and why.
Two teen boys, whom she thought were her friends, shot her in the head and left her to die in a canal on February 16. The attempted murder didn’t just shock Turner and her parents, it also rocked their small community of Smithfield, Utah, according to reports.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, officials said two teenage boys, Colter Danny Peterson and Jayzen Decker, planned Turner’s murder while playing video games. They reportedly wanted to “get rid” of Turner after she was texting and Snapchatting Peterson too much.
The Daily Mail reports that Cache County Sheriff Deputy Brian Groves told the court that Peterson said Turner “was annoying him on Snapchat,” to which Decker responded:
“It would be pretty easy to get rid of her.”
They allegedly invited Turner to a nearby canal to reportedly sell her a knife, but upon her arrival, they shot her and left her for dead. According to reports, Peterson was actually going to slit her throat and let her bleed out but, according to the Daily Mail, decided shooting her would be quieter.
After firing his weapon, Peterson and Decker took her backpack, which was holding her cellphone and iPod, as well as a bullet casing from where they shot her.
Thankfully, Turner was discovered by two women searching for her after she was declared missing. Once taken to the hospital, she was placed in a medically induced coma. Despite her severe injuries, she woke up.
On Tuesday, she attended Peterson’s court appearance to watch him plead guilty to first-degree aggravated attempted murder. According to reports, defense attorney Mike McGinnis said Peterson “wants to take responsibility for what he did.” It should be noted that both he and Decker are being tried as adults despite being 16 years old at the time of the crime.
As the judge read Peterson’s plea aloud, along with a list of Turner’s injuries, Turner sat in between her parents. Her mother told the court that bullets and a number of fragments remain in her brain and the injuries have left her with partial blindness and paralysis on one side of her body.Screenshot/CBS News
According to reports, Peterson is set to be sentenced after Decker’s trial, in which Peterson is set to testify. Decker is charged with attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, and several other offenses. First District Juvenile Court Judge Angela Fonnesbeck said of Decker:
“He may not have pulled the trigger himself, but he did take a deliberate and specific action to ensure the crime would be committed.”
It’s unclear how severe Peterson’s sentencing will be. Meanwhile, Turner has some new goals to accomplish, such as being able to move her fingers.
After the hearing, Turner’s father said his daughter “continues to struggle”:
“She works every day to gain as much quality of life as she can. But her life will never be the same.”
Though it probably won’t be, Turner offered some comfort, saying she is “tougher than a bullet.”