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17-year-old pleads guilty to murder in 2009 golf course shooting

Published: Thursday, March 8 2012 7:50 p.m. MST

Attorney Richard Van Wagoner, stands with his client, Antoine Hunter Farani, as he signs paperwork after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of aggravated murder for the murder of 18-year-old JoJo Lee Brandstatt in 2009, during a change of plea hearing at the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah Thursday, March 8, 2012. Farani was barely 14 when he shot Brandstatt for wearing the color of a rival gang.

Steve Griffin, Steve Griffin

SALT LAKE CITY — A 17-year-old accused of killing JoJo Brandstatt in an "execution-style" shooting on a West Valley City golf course pleaded guilty Thursday.

Antonie Hunter Farani entered guilty pleas to one count of aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated kidnapping, both first-degree felonies, in the Feb. 6, 2009, incident. Five additional counts of aggravated robbery were dismissed in exchange for Farani's plea.

Farani was 14 years old at the time of Brandstatt's death. He was one of four people to be charged in connection with the fatal shooting; prosecutors said he was the one who fired the fatal shots.

Brandstatt's body was found on a West Valley City golf course. Prosecutors said  Brandstatt was shot three times for being a member of a rival gang. Court testimony indicated Farani decided to kill Brandstatt because the color of his shirt indicated his gang membership.

Because of his young age, Farani was initially charged in juvenile court, but was certified on the charges as an adult.

Shardise Malaga, 22, Spencer Cater, 21 and Jeremiah Williamson, 29, were also charged in Brandstatt's death.

Malaga was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for five felonies, including manslaughter, two counts of kidnapping and unrelated charges of burglary and theft. Williamson pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. He is now facing an additional second-degree felony charge of obstruction of justice for refusing to testify at Cater's trial.

Cater was found guilty of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery, both first-degree felonies. He was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 10 years to life in prison.

Sentencing for Farani is April 27.

Emiley Morgan Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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