Nearly two years after Edward John Anderson was stabbed to death, a teenage girl has finally been ordered to stand trial for murder.
Second District Judge Pamela Heffernan Tuesday scheduled Aletha Austin, 16, for trial June 15-19 on charges of capital homicide, attempted capital homicide and aggravated burglary.Prosecutors contend Austin was "prepared to slit throats" on Pioneer Day, July 24, 1996, when she, her 16-year-old brother Robert, and 24-year-old Michael Munson set out on foot from Ogden for North Ogden.
They planned to rob - and if necessary, kill - Munson's grandmother and her husband in North Ogden to get guns and money.
However, Aletha Austin has maintained she didn't know about the murder plans - or that her brother carried a knife with which he eventually stabbed Anderson 24 times.
Anderson's wife, Wanda, 72, also was attacked but survived, despite lying unconscious for 20 hours next to her dying husband before being discovered.
Edward Anderson had been attacked after firing two shots from a pistol when he found the intruders breaking into his home.
Robert Austin and Munson are serving life prison terms after pleading guilty a year ago. Munson was sentenced to life with no chance of parole.
The defense says the then-14-year-old Aletha Austin fled the home as soon as Anderson opened fire.
She's been in jail since June 1996, transferred from a juvenile facility to the Weber County Jail that November. Jail officials doubt anyone has served more time in Weber County Jail.
Court observers have said they can't recall a 14-year-old girl ever charged with murder in Utah.