Wednesday , July 25, 2018 - 5:38 PM
FARMINGTON — As bailiffs led 20-year-old Layton resident Bostin Cole Osborn-Crookston into the courtroom, he was nearly unrecognizable from the jail booking photo on the badge clipped to his orange jail garb.
The beard and dreadlocks seen in his mugshot where gone. He was clean shaven with dark, combed hair that curled in the back.
His attorney, Todd Utzinger, showed his old booking photo to the prosecutor and judge. Utzinger said the changes to Osborn-Crookston since he was arrested are not limited to his physical appearance.
Utzinger told Judge David Hamilton that Osborn-Crookston has responded well to jail life — saying it’s the first time he’s had structure in his life — and added he has been pursuing his GED.
Since being in jail, he’s been away from codefendant Issac Cain Lee Valdez, whom Utzinger said was the instigator during the robbery that ultimately lead to the shooting death of Bryan Brooks Jr.
The 19-year-old Ogden man was shot in the face on Jan. 29, 2017, in Layton during a drug deal gone awry and died from his injuries the following day. Friends remembered Bryan Brooks Jr. as a recent high school graduate who was trying to turn his life around.
“Nothing we can do will bring Bryan back,” Utzinger said. “This case is one that keeps me up at night.”
Osborn-Crookston pleaded guilty to amended charges on March 7. He was originally charged with first-degree felony murder, which was later reduced to a second-degree felony manslaughter charge as a part of his plea.
Utzinger said that Osborn-Crookston was an impressionable young man that was influenced by Valdez. The attorney cited one jail evaluation that said Osborn-Crookston was “unusually susceptible to the influence of others.”
Utzinger made an unusual request to the judge during the Wednesday hearing, and asked that Osborn-Crookston serve his sentence in jail rather than the state prison so he could continue the progress he’s already made.
Later, Bryan Brooks Sr. said he supported the attorney’s request. Brooks said he has been to prison and know how rough it can be for a young man.
Brooks showed compassion to Osborn-Crookston, who police say pulled the trigger and killed his son. Brooks said his family’s lives “were shattered that day,” but he does not have any ill will toward Osborn-Crookston.
“I forgive him, wholeheartedly,” he said. “God tells us to forgive, and he who has no sin cast the first stone.”
Brooks indicated he believes Valdez was the ringleader — something Utzinger said would become apparent during Valdez’s trial in October — and ordered Osborn-Crookston to shoot his son. Much of Brooks’ ire was directed at Valdez.
“I want to see Valdez fry,” Brooks said.
During a brief statement, Osborn-Crookston apologized to the families of those involved.
“I know it won’t bring him back, but I am sorry and I wish I could take it all back,” he said.
Just before Hamilton sentenced Crookston to serve at least the next five years in a Utah prison, he said this is one circumstance where all parties wish they could have done things differently, but that’s not possible.
Hamilton said he would request to Adult Probation and Parole that Osborn-Crookston be allowed to continue to pursue his GED and substance abuse counseling. He also said Osborn-Crookston should attend skills training courses to prepare him for life outside of prison.
Osborn-Crookston was given credit for time served in the Davis County Jail, which as of Wednesday was 541 days.
It was not immediately clear Wednesday when Osborn-Crookston will be transferred to a Utah prison to serve his sentence.
Following his arrest, Valdez was charged with murder, a first-degree felony; aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; and obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.
His next court appearance will be for a pretrial conference on Sept. 5.
Valdez’s trial will begin on Oct. 22 at Farmington’s 2nd District Court.
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