“I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it further.”
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A 16-year-old Utah boy was sentenced earlier this month to up to 15 years in a maximum security prison after a judge changed the terms of a plea agreement.
Cooper Van Huizen pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree felony robbery for his role in a home invasion late last year.
The teen, who had no prior criminal history, and his parents believed the plea deal would result in 180 days in jail.
But District Judge Ernie Jones told Van Huizen at the May 7 sentencing hearing he believed the terms recommended by prosecutors and the probation board were “too soft” and instead sent the boy to Utah State Prison for one to 15 years.
Van Huizen cried and begged for mercy as he was led from the courtroom handcuffed in front of sobbing family members.