A teenager shot and left for dead in a ditch bravely faced her would-be murderer in court as the teen boy was sentenced to 15 years for the brutal attack.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Deserae Turner, then 14, was shot in the head and left for dead in the freezing cold Utah winter last February after she was lured to her attack by two teenage boys who were annoyed by her Snapchat posts.
Colter Peterson, 17, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in October, and last month, his 17-year-old accomplice Jayzon Decker also pleaded guilty to his role.
At Peterson’s sentencing hearing this week, he heard from Turner, who is confined to a wheelchair because of his violent act. She did not mince words as she described both her feelings toward the person who tried to kill her and the reality of a life stunted at such a young age.
“I hate you,” she said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
As she spoke, Peterson reportedly began to cry from his seat at the defense table.
“I hate what you did to me,” Turner continued. “I hate that I trusted you.”
She went on to describe his future as “confined to a small room,” but she wanted to make sure he knew that her “life will also be confined” because of his actions.
The bullet, which remains lodged in her brain, paralyzed her left arm, impaired her vision and caused a litany of other physical and cognitive obstacles thus far on her long road to recovery. She wants Peterson to have daily reminders of the suffering he has caused in her life.
When he sees the walls of his cell every morning, she wants him to think of the eyesight he took from her. When he suffers a headache, she told him to multiply it by “a thousand” to have an idea of the residual pain from his gunshot.
“You shouldn’t have messed with me, because I am tougher than a bullet,” she said, according to CBS News.
Her father, Matt Turner, also addressed Peterson. He emphasized the things that the would-be killer’s act took from his daughter, including her passion for horseback riding and desire to become a nurse.
“Why did you have to do this to my little girl?” he said. “This shouldn’t have had to happen!”
Peterson and his parents used the opportunity to apologize to the victim and her family.
“I want to pay for what I’ve done,” he said, adding that he will spend the rest of his life “making up for this” with the ultimate hope of earning the forgiveness of those he has hurt.
He was sentenced to 15 years to life behind bars for the aggravated attempted murder and 1 to 15 years for a felony robbery count, with the sentences set to run concurrently.
[Featured image: Deserae and April Turner/Associated Press]