A woman has been charged with homicide after a 14-year-old boy died of alcohol poisoning in Uintah County.
Police and prosecutors allege the teenager, Jess "Micade" Horrocks, died largely as a result of inaction. Prosecutors said that the adult who allegedly was summoned to help the victim, Candice Collard, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the second-degree felony child-abuse homicide charge.
On April 12, Horrocks and some other teenagers were drinking hard liquor in a Vernal parking lot, said Uintah County Deputy Attorney Greg Lamb. Horrocks chugged so much booze he became unresponsive and someone called Collard, 24, for help, Lamb said.
Lamb said people had to lift Horrocks into a car. But instead of taking Horrocks to a hospital or to his parents, Lamb said, Collard drove him to her home in Jensen, 13 miles away.
Another adult found Horrocks to be unresponsive in the house at about midnight, Lamb said, and the adult called 911. The next day, Horrocks was ruled to be brain dead, disconnected from life support and died.
Utah has a criminal statute for failing to render aid, but prosecutors decided to pursue a homicide charge.
"While it might be somewhat of a novel approach to this case," Lamb said, "I think the facts in this case match the way [the defendant] responded to this case"
The charges were filed July 28. An initial court appearance has not yet been set.
Lamb said the other teenagers involved likely will face misdemeanor charges in juvenile court.