Utah Teen Pleads Guilty to Killing Mother, 3 Siblings

Colin Jeffery Haynie was 16 years old when he tried to kill his entire family
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2020 8:18 AM CST
Updated Jul 19, 2022 8:49 PM CDT
Son Learned of Family's Mass Murder on Facebook
The caskets for Consuelo Alejandra Haynie, daughters 12-year-old Milan and 15-year-old Alexis, and 14-year-old son Matthew are carried following their funeral services on Jan. 24, 2020, in Grantsville, Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(Newser) Update: A Utah man pleaded guilty Tuesday to fatally shooting his mother and three siblings in early 2020, when he was 16 years old. Colin Jeffery Haynie, now 19, killed his mother and one of his sisters as they returned from her school pickup, then waited for two more siblings to arrive home and killed them, prosecutors said. Authorities have said they don’t know his motive. Haynie, who was charged as an adult, pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated murder and one count of attempted murder on Tuesday, the AP reports. He will be sentenced on Dec. 7. With the death penalty not an option because he was under 18 at the time of the crime, he faces a prison sentence of 25 years to life for each aggravated murder conviction. Our original story from Jan. 23, 2020 follows:

A 16-year-old boy has been charged with the murders of his mother and three siblings in what's believed to be Utah's biggest mass shooting in 13 years. Authorities say Colin Jeffery "CJ" Haynie sought to kill everyone in his Grantsville home except himself and nearly succeeded Friday. Consuelo Alejandra Haynie, 52, and her daughter Milan (12 or 14; also reported as Maylan) were fatally shot around 1pm, per USA Today. Alexis, 15, and Matthew, 14, were killed after arriving home separately later in the afternoon. Father Colin Haynie was shot in the leg after arriving around 6pm but was then able to wrestle a handgun from his son, police say. Coverage:

  • "He said that the defendant told him that his mother and his other siblings were dead and that his intention was to kill everyone in the home except himself," says Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead.

  • A neighbor called 911 before driving the father and son to a hospital around 7pm, per KUTV. The boy was then taken into custody on suspicion of four counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted aggravated murder, and multiple counts of discharging a firearm; he will be tried as an adult.
  • He's so far refused to speak with investigators, per the AP. "The biggest question for everyone here is why," Police Cpl. Rhonda Fields tells ABC News.
  • Fields says the roughly 12,000-person town hasn't seen a homicide "of this magnitude" in 20 years. It's Utah's largest mass shooting since 2007, when a gunman killed five people and himself at a mall in Salt Lake City.
  • ABC News points out it's also the first mass shooting in America in 2020, based on the FBI's definition for such a shooting as one in which there are at least 3 victims, excluding the shooter.
  • "They were a really, really nice family. It’s just shocking that it happened," a neighbor tells KSL.
  • KSL reports the family's eldest son, a Utah Valley University student, learned of the tragedy on Facebook. "Anyone in Grantsville know (what) is going on??? I can’t get ahold of my family and they live on the street where the shooting happened," he posted on Facebook. In a subsequent comment he reported that officials hadn't provided him with any info, so he "pretty much had to piece it together."
(Read more mass murder stories.)

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