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An ‘Immature’ Utah Teen Didn’t Like His Dad’s Rules About Church and School Attendance. So, He Killed His 3 Siblings and Mom.

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Jul. 16 2023, Published 10:04 a.m. ET

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A Utah man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after a judge sentenced him for fatally shooting his mother and three younger siblings and attempting to kill his father more than three years ago, according to authorities.

In January 2020, Colin Jeffery “CJ” Haynie, then 16, was charged in the deaths of his mother Alejandra Haynie and three siblings, ages 15, 14 and 12, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

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In July 2022, Haynie pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted aggravated murder, all carrying a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

On July 12, Third District Judge Teresa Welch sentenced Haynie, now 20, to 25 years to life in prison for each of the murder counts with each sentence running consecutively, The Tribune reported. Welch also sentenced Haynie to 25 years to life for the attempted murder charge, which will run concurrently.

Haynie faces at least 100 years in prison, but the Board of Pardons and Parole will determine exactly how long he remains in custody and if his sentence will begin in a youth detention center, where he is currently being housed, or in an adult facility, The Tribune reported.

The deadly attack occurred on Jan. 17, 2020, when Haynie shot each family member as they arrived at their Grantsville home over a span of five hours.

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Haynie’s father was the last to return home. He was shot and injured by his son, but he managed to disarm his son after a struggle and bring the violence to an end.

Court documents state Haynie’s motive for the crimes stemmed from his increasing social isolation, arguments with his father about church and school attendance and unfulfilled expectations. Haynie thought the only solution for himself was shooting his family.

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Defense attorney Richard Van Wagoner was hoping for concurrent sentences, The Tribune reported. He said Haynie initially blamed his father for the crimes, but Haynie was “immature, socially awkward and internalized” at the time. Now Haynie has taken responsibility and made a “near miraculous transformation” to better understand and manage his emotions.

Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead said Haynie hatched a plan to systematically kill each of his family members, burn down their house and flee with a “clean slate” and he remains a threat to society.

During her sentencing, Welch said, “Mr. Haynie, I wish you luck going forward, and I hope you take advantage of all of the opportunities at the prison that will be made available to you, as I would think that your family would have wanted you to do so also.”


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