JB was served an Information complaint/summons on March 3, 2023, outlining two charges against him including:
1) AGGRAVATED MURDER, a(n) First Degree Felony, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 765-202, and
2) ABUSE OR DESECRATION OF A HUMAN BODY, a(n) Third Degree Felony, in violation of Utah Code Ann. § 769-704.
I'm reading about a lot of concern that the charges against JB might not "stick" because he didn't make his first appearance within 72 hours of being served with the charges.
In light of these concerns, I'm sharing some information about Utah criminal procedures per the State Statutes that might be somewhat different than what viewers are familiar with.
First, it appears that Utah is similar to Colorado in that the prosecutor can file murder charges against a defendant based on Information, and charging by a grand jury indictment is not required.
Second, according to Utah criminal procedures, only for misdemeanor charges does the defendant enter a plea at the initial appearance, also known as an arraignment in
Utah (typically held within 72 hours after being booked in jail).
In Utah, a defendant charged with murder does not enter a plea until after the preliminary hearing when the judge decides whether or not the state met the burden of probable cause, and the case is bound over for trial.
Since the defendant, JB, is already in custody on the unrelated felon in possession of weapons charge and is not currently eligible for bail release, I think it possible that JB waived his first appearance to hear the formal charges read to him in court, and the defense has asked for a date for the preliminary hearing. MOO