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Teen accused of killing Ogden store owner to stay in custody

(Stock photo)

OGDEN, Utah – The accused killer of an Ogden store owner is going to stay in the juvenile detention center for at least one more month. Prosecutors are charging him with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery, and attorneys are considering charging him as an adult.

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys asked for more time to put their cases together before the preliminary hearing. For instance, both sides are waiting to see the results of bloodwork, which could take another six to eight weeks to complete.

Weber County Attorney Chris Allred reported, “Neither side wants to move forward too quickly.  Things tend to continue to unravel as the investigation goes forward.”

Defense attorneys believe the teen’s family is comfortable with him staying in juvenile detention as court proceedings continue. According to Allred, the possibility of certifying the teen as an adult is on the table, but the judge hasn’t set any timeline for a certification hearing. 

Allred would not give the boy’s age, only to have said he’s younger than 16, which has legal significance. If the suspect were 16, there wouldn’t need to be a certification hearing.

“If you’re 16 or 17 and you’re charged with murder, then that charge automatically goes directly to the District Court,” Allred said.

The suspect’s defense team filed a motion to close all future proceedings to the public, but attorneys for the Deseret News are fighting that request, saying the details are “a matter of significant public interest and concern.”  A hearing about that motion was scheduled for March 19.

Allred said the teen fired four shots after walking into the Super Grocery on 675 North Monroe Blvd., and demanding money.

“He admitted that his intent was to commit a robbery because he needed cash.  That’s his stated reason,” Allred said.  “We don’t have evidence that there were hate crimes motivations.”

People who knew store owner, Satnam Singh, are offering condolences for his family.  The Sikh Society of Utah issued a statement, saying…

“On behalf of Sikh Society of Utah, we would like to express our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy on the loss of Satnam Singh.
Satnam was a dedicated Sikh who exhibited a lifetime of faith, love and compassion, not only to the Sikh congregation, but to his friends, customers and the Ogden community.
We, the members of the seek society of Utah, pray for his departed soul to rest in peace in the heavenly abode. May God provide courage to his family to bear this loss.”