Two charged in Stansbury Park teen's stabbing death

Published: Wednesday, April 30 2014 5:02 p.m. MDT

STANSBURY PARK, Tooele County — What gives Darcy Horowitz comfort today is talking about her son, 17-year-old Jesse Horowitz.

Tuesday night, she spoke with a couple of her son's friends for two hours at her house, sharing memories, laughing and crying together.

"I'm just in awe of these kids — in awe, of the good kids Jesse surrounded himself with," she said Wednesday.

Two men were charged Wednesday in the stabbing death of her son, a Stansbury High School senior who had planned to go to Dixie State University after he graduated in a month.

Larry Beach, 20, from San Antonio, was charged in Tooele's 3rd District Court with murder, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. His cousin, Roy Coffey, 19, of Stansbury Park, was charged with obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.

"Justice is taking its course. I'm very grateful," Darcy Horowitz said. "I'm grateful that the system is working and I hope that the kid gets to spend the rest of his life in jail. I don't get to hold my baby anymore. At least his mom will be able to at least have letters from him.

"It's senseless. I feel bad for his mom. I couldn't imagine this."

On Friday, Coffey and another boy met at Stansbury Elementary, 485 Country Club Drive, just before midnight to fight, according to charging documents. Several high school-age juveniles showed up to watch, including Jesse.

"The fight was over and the parties were headed back to their cars" when Beach "started yelling obscenities at the other group of kids," court documents state.

Tooele County Attorney Doug Hogan said Beach was claiming gang affiliation and calling out if anyone in the group was a member of a rival gang. Hogan did not believe Jesse had any gang affiliation or that the fight was gang-related.

But Horowitz said her son stuck up for his friends.

Jesse yelled back at Beach, according to charging documents, and the two eventually ran at each other to fight.

"According to witnesses, the victim was getting the better of Larry and was pulled off," the charges state.

But Beach wasn't done and ran back after Horowitz, put him in a choke-hold from behind with one hand and then stabbed him seven to nine times using the other, police said.

"Witnesses stated that the victim went limp during the struggle and as they tried to break up the fight, they discovered that the victim had been stabbed multiple times," the charges state.

After Beach and Coffey fled the scene, Coffey asked him, "'Why did you do that, Larry?' and his response was, 'Because he hit me in the face and I fought back,'" according to the charges.

Coffey and two others with him "were freaking out" after they left the school, according to the court documents, and Beach told them "that they needed to calm down, that there was nothing that they could do about it (now). Larry made the statement that he was not trying to kill him."

As they fled the scene, the two stopped by a lake and Beach allegedly threw two knives into it.

Police showed up at Coffey's house a few hours later and arrested the two. Coffey told police he tried to pull the arm Beach was holding the knife with away from Jesse. After the stabbing, "Roy said that he told Larry that if he killed the victim that he was going to jail," the charging documents state.

Coffey and Jesse were acquaintances who went to high school together. Beach had been in Utah for only a week and no one else at the fight except his cousin knew him, according to investigators.

A woman who answered the door at Coffey's house on Wednesday said she was not interested in speaking to the media before shutting and locking the door.

A memorial service for Jesse was scheduled for Wednesday at the Deseret Peak Complex, followed by a "party" at the home of "Grandma Sue," the grandparents of Jesse's girlfriend where Jesse and his friends spent a lot of time.

Although it was too late for the family to donate his vital organs, Horowitz said her son's corneas and arteries from his legs and stomach were being donated. Jesse's ashes will be flown back to his birthplace of Minneapolis for interment.

Ever since the incident, Horowitz and her husband have been wearing different articles of clothing that belonged to her son.

"Emotionally, I'm like a roller coaster because I'm feeling such love and support. But then it will just hit me. Mornings and nighttime are the worst," she said. "I've slept in Jesse's bed every night."

Horowitz hopes her son's death will convince teens and young adults in the area to quit fighting.

"I want these kids to stop fighting. Everybody loved my son. He didn't have a beef with anybody. But he was there to back his friends," she said. "Nothing good happens after midnight. … Some crazy is going to hurt somebody. And my son's life is gone and we can't change it."

Hogan concurred.

"Tragic dumb things seem to have a higher incidence of occurrence after midnight," the county attorney said. "This is a sad thing to have happened at any time. But it's really struck a chord here in our community. It's really sad."

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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