Toquerville teen accused of killing neighbor on suicide watch

Published: Monday, March 24 2014 2:42 p.m. MDT

ST. GEORGE — A Toquerville teenager accused of killing his neighbor is under suicide watch at the Washington County Jail after allegedly trying to harm himself twice.

When Joshua Daniel Canfield, 17, was taken into custody on March 19, "Canfield was belligerent and combative with officers upon initial contact," according to a sheriff's report. He was booked into jail Saturday "after receiving medical clearance for booking."

In his booking mug shot, Canfield is wearing a neck brace and has what appears to be a puncture and slicing wound across his neck.

Washington County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Jake Schultz said both injuries were self-inflicted and occurred at separate times. The injury that appears to be a cut or a slice happened before Canfield was taken to jail, according to jail officials, and was apparently the reason he was in the hospital for three days before he was booked into jail on Saturday.

Within 10 minutes of arriving at the jail on Saturday, however, Canfield committed an undisclosed act that sent him right back to the hospital. He was rebooked into jail five hours later with the neck brace, Schultz said.

Canfield was booked into an "observation cell," where someone checks on him every 15 minutes, he said. He was also wearing a special Velcro gown "for his own protection," Schultz said. In other jails, the special gown is typically used to prevent inmates from turning their clothes into a noose.

Canfield, regardless of his age, will be kept in the observation cell until he is no longer considered a danger to himself. Sheriff's officials had said they planned to keep him separated from the general adult population of jail at least until his 18th birthday, which is Friday.

Washington County Attorney Brock Belnap said Monday that Canfield's case will be filed in adult court. He plans to review the case Tuesday and decide what specific charges to file.

On March 19, deputies were called to a home burglary in Toquerville. Two firearms and collectible coins were taken, according to a sheriff's report.

Canfield was soon identified as a possible suspect. Detectives then received a tip that he was spotted in Washington City buying gasoline with the coins taken in the burglary, the report states.

The owner of the vehicle Canfield was allegedly driving was registered to 58-year-old Geraldine Bommarito, who lived just a block away from where the burglary occurred. Deputies went to her house where they found her dead of a gunshot wound.

Neighbors said Canfield lived in a camp trailer outside his parents' home and just down the street from Bommarito.

Just after noon on March 19, police spotted Canfield walking in Springdale. He was still in possession of the two stolen firearms, according to the report.

Canfield's jail mug is a far cry from the picture he posted of himself on his Facebook wall on March 16, just three days before the alleged crimes. Canfield appeared to be happy, saying he had entered into a relationship with a girl on March 11, and wrote several messages on his Facebook page professing his love for her.

On March 20, the girlfriend wrote on Canfield's Facebook wall, using several broken heart symbols and emoticons of crying eyes. She changed her Facebook profile picture on March 23 to a picture of herself and Canfield, while she was pointing her middle finger at the camera.

Another friend wrote on his wall, "You will be missed." Yet another person wrote about their apparent anger and disbelief at what had happened.

After Canfield's arrest, Bommarito's burned out vehicle was found in a remote part of Springdale.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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