A 19-year-old man entered a guilty plea Tuesday in connection with the murders of his mother and three siblings in 2020 at their home in Grantsville, Utah, his attorney says.
Colin Jeffery Haynie, who goes by Jeffery, “did accept responsibility today and entered guilty pleas to all of his charges,” his attorney, Rudy J. Bautista, said in a statement to CNN.
Haynie was 16 when he allegedly shot and killed four of his family members and also tried to kill his father, who survived the attack, according to an account provided by prosecutors shortly after the attack.
Haynie pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted murder, according to CNN affiliate KSL. Additional five counts of discharge of a firearm were dismissed as part of a plea deal, according to KSL.
Prosecutors had alleged that Haynie stayed home from school on January 17, 2020, waiting for his family to come home. When his mother, Consuelo Alejandra Haynie, 52, arrived that afternoon with his 12-year-old sister Maylan, the teen allegedly shot and killed them. He did the same to his other siblings, Alexis, 15, and Mathew, 14, later that afternoon, according to a charging document.
Shortly after 6 p.m., the father, Colin Haynie, arrived home. The father told police that his son shot him in the leg and struck him on the head, but he was able to overpower the teen.
A neighbor called 911 and took the father and son to the hospital, Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead said when he announced the charges against Haynie. The teen confessed to the killings during the 911 call and was arrested at the hospital, he said.
“Jeffery has wanted to accept responsibility, and the delay was his lawyers’ doing, not his,” Bautista said, emphasizing Haynie’s age at the time of the killings.
Haynie is being held in juvenile detention despite being a legal adult, Bautista told CNN. In certain circumstances under Utah law, minors over the age of 14 who are accused of committing serious felony offenses may remain within the juvenile system until they are 25.
“His attorneys worked with the Tooele County Attorney’s Office toward keeping Jeffery in the juvenile justice system where the programs and resources are specifically designed to address the development needs of juvenile offenders, including education, training, and mental health,” the attorney’s statement said.
“This case is as tragic as they get, for everyone involved, the family, extended family, neighbors and friends, church congregation, students and classmates, the entire town, county, and state communities,” Bautista said.
Haynie has waived his right to a preliminary hearing and his sentencing is scheduled for December 7, Bautista said.