Two young men in Salt Lake City, Utah, committed a heinous crime in February last year. Colter Peterson and Jayzon Decker came up with a plot to kill an acquaintance of theirs, Deserae Turner.
It’s difficult to imagine what could have stirred up the two 16-year-old’s ire enough to tempt them to murder, but it gets worse. The reason they wanted her gone?
They found her “annoying.” Peterson kept getting messages and snapchats from Deserae, so the two boys casually chatted about how to eliminate her while playing video games.
Peterson had been fed up with another girl too, back in 2014, and had unsuccessfully tried something similar.
They went through with the plot against Deserae, too, luring her to an abandoned location and shooting her in the back of the head.
If you can imagine it, it gets worse. They didn’t seem to panic or regret their actions in the slightest. Instead, they left the girl for dead, even taking the casing from the bullet as a memento.
Then they took the $55 dollars she had on her and disposed of her other belongings.
None of that says “accident.” They tried to say “greed” was a motivator, and that Peterson was going through depression at the time, but all the evidence suggests cold calculation.
At only 16 years old, that is terrifying. They were made to face the charges as adults.
Deserae, 14 at the time, miraculously survived and was found after an overnight search. She still suffers from setbacks because of the bullet lodged in her brain and has lost most of her autonomy.
Her life expectancy has had 20 years shaved off because of her condition, and her future is uncertain.
At Peterson’s hearing last month, Turner and her family had some choice words for the would-be murderer, who could be seen crying during her speech.
Not one to back down from this opportunity, Turner faced Peterson directly and spoke from her wheelchair.
“There are times I wish I could give the gun back to Colter and tell him to try again and put me out of my misery,” Deserae said.
“Welcome to hell,” she told Peterson. “I have been here for a year now.”
“You wanted to kill. I was an easy target and took the bullet. You should never be allowed out of prison.”
But despite her trials, despite the attempt on her life, Deserae continues. The six words that summed up her situation will likely repeat in Peterson’s head for quite some time: “I am tougher than a bullet.”