Miss Riverton steps down following ‘homemade bomb’ incident

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  • Syd Salt Lake, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 9:37 p.m.

    What I can't get past is the fact that they were throwing the bombs out of a car window. Yes, most of us made bombs out of fireworks and possibly other things as kids but how many of us threw those bombs out of car windows? Where were they throwing the bombs? Were they throwing them towards houses? Towards cars? Even though they were throwing them at the pavement and watching them explode I have to ask why that needed to be done from a moving vehicle? Why couldn't they have lit them and let them explode on their own driveways or in front of their own homes? I know many of you say, kids will be kids, but I assure you that if one of those "bombs" we're thrown towards your home or car you would feel very differently.

  • downunder south jordan, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    My question is where are the parents in all of this? We had a lot of vandalism committed on our property years ago and discovered years later that they were kids of our good Mormon neighbors. Harassing the inactive and non Mormon neighbors while running wild all night was OK as long as they went to church on Sunday morning. No punishment of any type was ever given!

  • sjc layton, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    Wow she's just like, so smart and stuff..............

  • Charlemagne Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 15, 2013 12:10 a.m.

    If this is the worst thing that Kendra Gill has ever done then I admire her. In a day and age when all too many young women her age are involved in drugs, alcohol and sexual immorality Miss Gill commits a rather poorly thought out practical joke. While she didn't think carefully enough about the potential dangers in her actions she does sound like a playful young woman with a good sense of humor.I hope that all goes well with her and that she does get a chance to go to college.

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 11:34 p.m.

    The things we did makes this look like child's play and we scared a few people. The police caught up with us, made us clean up after ourselves, gave us a firm lecture, warned us as to what would happen the next time and let us go. There was no next time. We learned our lesson. That was then and this is now. Hopefully, it will go well for them.

  • TandJ LaVerkin, Utah
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    @Harrison Lapahie
    Harrison said, "Toilet bowl cleaner doesn't explode or burn." But Harrison, when you add aluminum foil to the equation it indeed becomes a highly exothermic chemical reaction that does indeed results in a chemical explosion that will burn just as any other incendiary device. These kids knew what the addition of aluminum foil to toilet cleaner will do, and now they are, or should at least,learn the complications of their acts.

  • Quince Orchard Baltimore, MD
    Aug. 14, 2013 6:33 p.m.

    I'm amazed at the intolerance of some posters.

    Sure it was a stupid, dangerous prank, but it was a prank. It wasn't meant to be malicious and they weren't trying to hurt anybody. To these kids, these "bombs" were nothing more than big firecrackers, which you've seen thrown by the thousands during the last few weeks.

    Give over your self-righteous selves and give the kids a little sympathy and understanding, a slap on the wrist, and send with on their way with a warning never to pull another prank like this.

  • mba latino Herriman, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 6:22 p.m.

    In my neighborhood we used to do dumb pranks like this all the time. We used to throw dry ice bombs in a school parking lot. People knew we were just dumb kids doing what immature kids do. I know if we did those things today we all would have been put in Juvenile Detention or even Jail. Yes times have changed with news and social media allowing these kids to have much more access to learn from others mistakes, so I think they should know better than we did, but I don't think we should go on a witch hunt here. 18 year olds still act pretty immature and do spontaneous things because they dont have the life experiences required to be considered adults. Parents also have to talk with their kids before things like this happen and let them know there are consequences for their dumb actions , instead of trusting that your kids wont make the dumb mistakes. That is what I see nowadays, parents forget to parent and teach from their life experiences as well.

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    Anyone saying that she 'owned up and showed class' by resigning her title forgets:

    She would have been stripped of the title anyways.
    They likely gave her the opportunity to 'resign' with dignity.
    Criminal charges are STILL pending.

    Let's wait and see what happens. But likely she's facing a conviction that will tarnish her record, at least for a while. Intent will be measured, as well as the fact they figured out how to make these and likely tested them out beforehand. Witnesses that were scared by exploding devices feet from them haven't been heard from yet. That will come out in court, and could paint a much different picture than the 'harmless prank' narrative that Miss Gill is trying to stick with. Then, you might change your tune.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    Flashing someone from a moving car is a silly mistake. Throwing bombs at some one is a bit more than that.

    Attention 17-year-olds, when you turn 18 all the rules change. You can't get away with this stuff anymore.

  • Most Truthful and Patriotic Layton, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    "a silly mistake?

    No. A mistake is 2+2=5.

    What happened here, is the result of a series of purposeful decisions.
    They got caught.

    Would they be feeling their "mistake" if they'd got away with it?

  • RDJntx Austin, TX
    Aug. 14, 2013 4:26 p.m.


    I am not so sure about your first paragraph, as I kid I was not a trouble maker, never had a run in with the police, never suspended from school, and led a pretty normal teenage life. went to church every sunday and got decent grades. worked part time my jr / sr year in high school. but we loved blowing stuff up. as someone else said if we were to do now what we did then we would all have records of some kind.

    I think you are right tho, had it not been for the fact she was a beauty pageant winner we would likely not even heard about this. and I don't think there is anyone here commenting that thinks she should get off scott free. Punishment is warranted for ALL of them. but not criminal records. let them do community service in the community they were throwing the bottles in or somewhere less privileged. a couple hundred hours each would make the point if giving up the title hasn't.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    Aug. 14, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    I'd go with Class B Misdemeanor, unless someone can prove that the bombs were thrown near people. If so, then 3rd Degree Felony. They are old enough that they SHOULD have known of the potential danger to human life of toilet cleaner and tin foil bottle bombs.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 3:36 p.m.


    You have little respect for those who care to make life so miserable for the young people. I have not seen one poster on here that says someone makes life miserable for these young people. With that said, they made life miserable for themselves with their actions.

    With action comes consequence. Everybody needs to quit giving these young people the pardon because they are young people. They are adults every single one of them is 18 years old.

    Quit making excuses people for your children and teach them if you would like to help them avoid stuff like this. Discipline them when they do stuff wrong as a younger child. It teaches them that it is not OK to just do what they want. Mommy and Daddy can cover their butt until a situation like this where Mommy and Daddy can't do anything. The law prevails, and in this case the written law is a punishable felony. I am assuming it will be reduced to a misdemeanor or 3rd degree felony. But let them ride the wave they created all by themselves. Quit babying them, they did it, now they get the consequence for it.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 2:51 p.m.

    Last year in Utah 2 two year olds died from accident shootings. No charges were filed eventhough adults had allowed a two year old child to handle a loaded gun. Tell me what is a higher risk situation. Clearly lessons need to be learned but unless there was sinister intent the felony charges should be dropped. In that case I have little respect for those who care to make life so miserable for these young people.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    Aug. 14, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    Agreed, probably not worthy of a felony. Many serious joggers are familiar with the stupid things that teenagers say and do when they drive by. I'm not exactly sure what is exciting about doing dumb things like that, but I think that parents and the court system can do something to teach these type of kids to be responsible adults short of a felony on their record.

  • JT4 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    I'm going to agree with UtahBruin and riverofsun, and add to it: Perhaps we didn't get the parents' full mindset through the little quotes in this article, but I also happen to have kids of whom I am proud for the things they have accomplished in their lives (to paraphrase the father), but yes, I *would* be fairly upset with them (to counter the mother's view) if they *went out of their way* to get into mischief and "prank" people. Neither would I try to minimize what they had done by saying what great kids they otherwise were. Also, I would say that if we won't choose to put ourselves in the shoes of those we choose to "prank", then we probably deserve whatever punishment we get--life has a habit of being like that. And if I'm not teaching my kids those concepts early on, it will get taught to them further down the road when the consequences will be more severe.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Reminds me of a friend of mine who, at the age of 18, lost an appointment to the Air Force Academy after a mistake similar to this one. It was a life changer for him, but he made things right and eventually got over it. After all these years he's a better man now.

    This young lady has the right attitude. She accepts responsibility and is making things right. I'm wishing her all the best in the years to come. (She's very pretty, too).

  • meagain orem, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    As a victim of a homemade combustion bomb--(2 liter) bottle with bleach, wads of tinfoil as shrapnel then ignited setting our front porch on fire--scorching wood, metal, and bleaching the cement, I am torn between whether or not these teens should face felony charges. The intentions of our perpetrators was malice. These teens had terrorized our family with bullying that lasted years and culminated into a felony that could have costed us our limbs, face, or life.

    We did not turn in our teens. Of course, we thought about it and there are days when I feel that we should have. However, they have moved on with their lives. They have never apologized nor took responsibility. They did not suffer ANY consequences. Whereas, we have jumped from town to town trying to find a safe place for our family to live and have suffered monetary consequences as a result.

  • Rainman Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    Didn't we all do some stupid things as a teenager? Punishment of some kind, yes. A felony label and/or jail time, no. If this is the first time they've had trouble with the law, they need to back off a bit.

  • Harrison Lapahie Shiprock, NM
    Aug. 14, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    This case is not a felony to me, and I would not consider the item to be a "bomb". Toilet bowl cleaner doesn't explode or burn. Miss Gills was with her schoolmates and having fun, and made a mistake. It was not met to hurt someone, and sometimes everyone makes these types of adolescent mistakes when we are young.

    When I was 16 years old 42 years ago in downtown Los Angeles, when we saw a wine or beer bottle on the street, we use to pick them up and throw them way up into the air just to watch them explode on the streets. This was done at night after 9 pm, walking around, having nothing to do, and it made us laugh! That was stupid, but that is what we did.

    As a punishment they could freely help the families in those neighborhoods where they threw the "bombs", pick up trash at the local park, or remove graffiti in the neighborhood, but they should not serve time or have a criminal record for what they did.

    Miss Giles should not have resigned! She is just humble and wanted to do the right thing!

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    There are other ways to become famous. Make a video. Just ask P. Hilton and K. Kardashian.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 14, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    This young woman just acted like a classy, intelligent adult by accepting responsibility for her actions and then resigning her title.

    And....she earned my respect in the process.

    When we fail at a "thing", we fail at a "thing". "We" are NOT our failures. Failure also provides an OPPORTUNITY to begin again more intelligently.

    So, to this young woman I'd say....begin again more intelligently.

    You are already well on your way.

    Good luck!

  • Grace Bakersfield, CA
    Aug. 14, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    Don O in Draper & Joe5 said it all: Stop the race-bating; Period. We're done with it.

    Help your kids to think through consequences. As we say in my sunny state, if you don't have the time, don't do the crime. We don't care what ethnicity you are. Be civil, considerate and law-abiding.

    Kudos to Miss Gill for owning up, stepping down and setting that example. My heart goes out to her loss, but I respect her maturity at this juncture. A hard lesson, but the Biblical God forgives and restores. Tomorrow is a new day. I think she'll have a great life despite this misstep.

  • CG Orem, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    "Lighten up Francis"

    In situations like this, intent is far more important than the actual act, indeterming the seriousness of the act.

    If these kids had been throwing these "bombs" with malicious intent to harm persons or property, criminal charges would be warranted.

    Throwing the "bombs" as a prank to scare some friends deserves nothing more than a severe scolding, some community service, and a suspended sentence to be wiped from their records if the kids demonstrate that they've learned their lesson by not doing anything similarly "stupid" before they're 21.

    Why waste time and money, and ruin the lives of some immature teenagers prosecuting a prank, when the criminal justice system is overburdened handling real criminals?

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 14, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    Experience has shown that when ever someone sets out to do a 'Prank', is rarely turns out well. Felony? I don't think so. Again this is evidence that teenagers; even ones legally eighteen - do not have the brain development to support 'adult' decision making - complete with an understanding of potential consequences. To try them as adults just to appease Caesar is really not appropriate.

    We all learn from our mistakes through appropriate discipline, not through 'fullest extent of the law' vengeance.

    That she is stepping down is probably a step in the right direction. To throw the book at her would certainly not be.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    Aug. 14, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    When I was a kid we didn't have "pranks" we had mischief night, which was the night before Halloween and kids did some bad stuff, but if we got caught we paid the price. Admittedly what we did for the most part weren't felonies, mostly misdemeanors, but I personally got hauled home by the constable at least once.

    The point that many seem to be missing here, is that these "bombs" are potentially lethal. All the ones I found on Youtube make acid and have delayed explosions.

    It is a felony. The best outcome would be a conviction. Community service. Then a full pardon. Otherwise there will be a permanent stigma attached.

    Some do need to consider how they would feel about this if the demographics were different. The demographics can't be taken into consideration when discussing the crime. Just when considering the punishment.

    I do commend this young lady for admitting her mistake and relinquishing her title. I hop e all four learn a lesson from this. Think before you do something stupid.

  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    I can think of a dozen or more classmates who have gone on to lead successful lives as positive contributors to society (attorneys, doctors, VPs, etc.) whose lives would've been forever changed if they had been criminally charged as these young people have, for doing similarly stupid pranks in high school. Not malicious, just short-sighted and stupid. That being said, it's still a serious problem when anything harmful is thrown out of a moving vehicle. "Harmful" may even include a water balloon (I remember getting pelted with one in the gut on the last day of school as teens drive by - it hurt and nearly knocked the wind out of me). This is one discussion I'm going to have with my teenagers as an activity that is unacceptable in any situation (along with the "mailbox baseball," wet toilet paper thrown at cars, and urinating off an overpass that my now-successful friends engaged in back in the 80s).

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    We all have done dumb things like this. How many of us threw cans of soda on a road to watch it explode? Sounds like we should have been charged with felonies.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Aug. 14, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    How fun! It is time for all the prankster commenters to commune with one another and brag about their past naughty behavior. Swell times, huh?
    Remember this is 2013. Troubled, but intelligent individuals are bombing schools, sporting events, marathons, government buildings, etc. Times have changed. "That handful Billy" could not get away with what he did way back when.
    Perhaps the presiding judge in this Utah case may feel the correct thing to do is to set a precedent.
    If these intelligent, wonderful pranksters get away with it, what does that tell .........

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    This case should be a lesson to the fact that it's a different world today. Little home-made explosive and you can get the BATF involved and felony charges in a heartbeat. Kid 18 or over goes out with a minor who's feuding with her mom, charges are made, and the kid is on the famous registry for 10 years and has a record; if no attorney gets in the act, it could easily be a felony and change his whole life--treating him roughly the same as some real pedophile who jumps out of bushes and rapes toddlers. Messing with a mailbox? Don't even think about it; U. S. Postal Service laws could make that a felony as well. Messing with hard drugs and cops? Could get you shot and killed very easily. Common sense isn't at all common any more, and many prosecutors and cops are looking for feathers in their caps, and really don't care about the lives of those apprehended or charged.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Problem Two:

    I don't know how many times I read in this article her quote of "I didn't think." Nope, you didn't, now pay the price whatever it is for your consequences. Maybe next time you will think. And parents, teach your kids to use their squash and think.

    Felony, absolutely, just keep reading you will understand. Jail time, maybe not, especially 15 years is what they are looking at with a 2nd Degree Felony and up to a $15k fine. The problem is, Title 76, Chapter 10, Section 306 (a) i,iii, c, and more importantly (6) which is already evident, admitted and proven and is a 3rd Degree Felony, punishable by zero to five years and a $5,000 fine. So jail time maybe not. I don't think they are bad kids. They were stupid and should have thought. But to let them off completely, the answer is no. Third Degree Felony so it sticks with them for ever, no jail time, hundreds of hours of community service and a full $5k fine. Just my thoughts, doesn't mean I am right. But please hold them accountable, even if it is less, hold them accountable.

  • PAC12Fan South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    What would have happened had someone been hurt?

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    Why does this sound like a prosecutor trying to make a case. It's sad when we start confusing good people who make dumb mistakes, for criminals... "Well someone could have been hurt!"... well nobody was. Why destroy 4 lives and for what? If they were criminal and trying to hurt others, they would have had a better plan then throwing bombs out of cars.. good grief!

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Aug. 14, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    The fact that these kids are willing to step up as adults and admit their wrong-doing and are willingly taking the consequences, is the best reason to show leniency. They were certainly stupid, but it would have been fare more stupid to allow a lawyer to talk them into a not-guilty stance and living a lie. Too many lawyers urge that, in hopes that the prosecution will not be able to convince a jury and get their clients off. It's a rare, yet honorable, find to have an attorney seek for truth and justice. Congratulations to all involved. I would love to be the judge in this case. It's a no-brainer.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    I could be wrong, but I believe the prosecutors will accept misdemeanor plea deals as he should. If so it's now time for the media to leave this girl alone.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    Problem One:

    "I think with all that she’s been going through, it’s hard to get mad at her because … her intention was never to hurt anybody,” Michelle Gill said."

    Other than maybe Al Queda, and some ill willed people. I am not sure many peoples intentions are to hurt anybody.

    "It's hard to get mad at her." Really it is that hard, sure she is going through a tough time, and she is scared. She is not scared about what she did, she is scared about the consequence. As a parent you should support her. On the other hand, as a parent you need to get mad at her. I didn't say beat her or disown her, I said be mad, be angry with her. Parents get mad all the time at their kids. It is those who pass it off as kids will be kids are the ones failing society and not teaching their kids that consequences come from actions.

  • Vince Ballard South Ogden, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    Making something like this a felony is stupid. I agree on this point with civil libertarians that the war on terror has adopted some silly and dangerous extremes. We are criminalizing more people for relatively trivial acts, but are unable or unwilling to control chronic, dangerous felons. This is something noted columnist Samuel Francis calls "anarcho-tyranny, and it is weakening society and respect for laws.

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:37 a.m.


    With the exception of the gang members, I don't think many "Utahns" would discriminate any kid of any other ethnic background, who was as outstanding a student and citizen. I do think there are racial stereotypes at large in the entire country, not just Utah. That is an issue which must be dealt with on its own, without bringing it up in every situation like this. In fact, I, being a middle aged white male, feel that I have become one of the most discriminated against "classes" in the country these days. It is important to eliminate racial problems of all sorts, but it is also important to realize that it is just as wrong to presume that any action dealing with a racial group, such as a white, blonde female, means that some sort of racial wrong is being committed, somehow, some way. The actions taken in the past to eliminate racial discrimination were good, and I voted for them. But isn't it time to move toward real racial harmony? I see more cases of "reverse discrimination" these days than of any other kind; it is time to really learn to accept each other.

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    Our Attorney General could learn a lot from this young lady. She made a mistake and is stepping aside "to let someone else take it from here." How much money and trouble he could have saved the state if he had done the right thing and just stepped aside!

  • majCoug Cougar Nation, AE
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    It seems that it should only be worth the felony charge if there was malicious intent behind the act. From what has been reported, it suggests the contrary. As far as her losing/relinquishing her crown, I believe that is appropriate. Regardless of intent, the act was dangerous and shows a lack maturity, and incongruent with the type of role model she was voted to be. Actions yield consequences. And while the consequences for some actions may be different depending on intent, consequences in some form always follow. This seems to be appropriate.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    If the attorneys and law enforcement officers preparing felony charges were asked. "How many of you made 'bombs' out of fireworks, dry ice, vinegar and baking soda, etc?" when you were young, how many would put their hands up?

    Almost all of them I dare say.

  • Clinton Draper, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    This is absolutely insane. I exploded many a two-liter bottle as a kid and have shown my kids how to do it, not because I want them "pranking" people, but because it is interesting to see what happens from a chemical/science point of view. I also did other chemistry "experiments" back in the day when a child's chemistry set was seen as educational rather than the beginning of a career in terrorism.

    In my opinion, the cop should have made the kids clean up the mess they made and sent them home. Arresting them was an irrational overreaction. Our society has grown into such a heap of over-protecting wet blankets during the last 30 years that nobody can handle kids just being kids. It is shameful that any adult would charge these kids with a felony and even more shameful that any adult associated with the pageant would accept this girl's resignation.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Wow, I'd hate to be stuck on an island with most of these commentors. It's not far from , Get a rope."

    Toilet bowl cleaner noisemakers are not bombs, not a good idea, but they are not likely to hurt anyone. Youtube is full of examples.

    Before you support ruining the kids lives, maybe get some perspective.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    We for sure don't need to throw the book at kids being kids.

    They have already learned a hard lesson.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    Will the racists on here quit trying to inject race into every little thing. When will you figure out that you are the only ones obsessed with it. I honestly never had a thought about whether these kids were black or white, rich or poor, attractive or ugly, girls or boys, or any other demographic. We know nothing about the other kids involved. I hope one of them turns out to be a minority.

    I am so sick and tired of you racists who are so focused on this issue that you keep our country divided. Don't you get it? Nobody else cares!!

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    I'm glad I won't be judged by some of these posters. I hope, for their sakes, they are not judged as harshly as they judge others.

    My stupid pranks include:
    - Stacking the high school outdoor lunch tables in a pyramid on the roof.
    - Sitting in seminary class with a Ouija board and chanting: "O ouija! O ouija!" (The seminary teacher threw a bible at me.)
    - Putting salt or various extracts (my favorite was rum extract) into the sacrament water.
    - Locking an entire floor into their rooms in Helaman Halls (BYU) by tying a rope between rooms across the hall from each other.

    I now regret these stupid pranks. My intention was never to harm or bully people. It was almost always to tease someone or get a laugh out of someone. I don't believe the nature of this prank was any different - just kids out having some fun.

    Are there really people out there who do not understand what a prank is? Are there really people who have never pulled a prank on someone? Are you really anxious to taint the rest of someone's life over something like this?

  • SCUte Rock Hill, SC
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    Wow, I guess I should still be rotting in jail - I was lucky enough not to get caught with my "pranks". Glad I was able to grow up and learn to think more and act less - hope these kids get a chance to do the same. They can't run away from the consequences of their actions, but I hope whoever hands out the justice will not block the potential these kids have for doing good things in the future.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    For all those claiming that this young blond girl and her friends, who are of the dominant culture here in Utah, should be "given a break," think about it this way: Had this incident be done by some non-whites, members of a local gang, or illegal immigrants -- would you be so forgiving?

  • Uncle Vic El Dorado Hills, CA
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    CHS 85,

    Utah's law on this likely was written by Republicans, but I'm from California, far, far to the left of center and very much a Democratic state. We have similar laws, written by Democrats.

    I know a couple of young men who got in similar trouble. A neighbor had a plastic pumpkin sitting next to her driveway after Halloween. Late one night, these kids put a firecracker in it and blew it up. Unfortunately, her driveway abutted the elementary school next door, which meant that, in the eyes of the law, it was on government property. A felony act of terrorism, or that's what they were charged with. They were arrested and arraigned in court dressed in orange jumpsuits with hand and leg shackles.

    I think they ended up being convicted of something far less severe, but the prosecutor was all for sending them to Guantanamo (a little exaggeration there). Both of their LDS missions were delayed.

    Were they stupid? Yup! But even the lady whose pumpkin they exploded called it a prank, not a felony.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    When I was young and stupid, I was young and stupid. Yup, I did stupid things too.

    We had home made cannons, made hydrogen balloons with fuses attached (looked great going off in the night sky), applied chemicals to home work papers that made them explode when the teacher wrote the grade on them. I could go on but you get the idea. Tim Taylor had nothing on us. Creative kids growing up on rural environments do some amazing things.

    Give the kid a break. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    I'm wondering if the perpetrator had been some punk down the street instead of a beauty queen, would the same judgement be issued?

    Of course intent is an important part of judgement but there's a reason this sort of behavior is a felony, even when no one gets hurt from it. And felonies ruin a kid's future, regardless of how pretty they are.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    I think just about everyone thinks a felony charge is over the top.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    The NSA and the dept. of Homeland Security have the average American citizen exactly right where they want them....... mass paranoia.

    As an assistant scout master, I was surprised as I sat around the campfire by an explosion. Pranking scouts had placed an unopened can of beans in the fire which expanded when heated and shot straight up into the air.

    Be careful when you see fellow shoppers purchasing cans of beans...


  • sjc layton, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    So, if these things had hit someone and permanently scarred them from the acid, do you people think a felony charge would be warranted then ?

    Of course it's a felony - the fact that she has crappy aim is iorrelevant

  • Faded Glory Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Yes this is a felony and if someone had been injured it would have risen to a first degree level. Like it or not that is the law. Never could understand the thought process that takes place that convinces an 18 year old that it is fun to throw explosive chemicals from moving vehicles. In the end they will appear before a judge, pay a fine and enter into a plea and abeyance agreement. No time will be served and hopefully they willed have learned a lesson.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    Throwing bombs--however RELATIVELY non-lethal--- at innocent people IS a felony, and rightly so.
    It's like using a fake gun during a robbery...the people don't know it's a fake.

    If I was in my driveway and someone drove by and threw something at me that exploded, I can assure you I wouldn't stick around to see if it was gunpowder, chemical, or other.

    I hope they lock them all up. They are adults, and stupidity is no excuse for breaking the law, or doing something that would essentially terrorize innocent people.

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Aug. 14, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    I DO feel intent should be HEAVILY considered here...that said what they did was far more than just a "prank". Perhaps my familiarity with the term is off base, but to me a prank is something stupid that doesn't have the potential to bring physical harm to another person. I don't know the in-debth details, but I assume these were made of glass and could have blinded them or a bystander,not to mention the harm the chemical could have done. These people were intelligent enough and knowledgeable enough to have comprehended the potential outcome,thus it wasn't a stupid prank(knowing the outcome, also knowing it wouldn't harm another), nor were they ignorant since their intelligence covered that area...

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Aug. 14, 2013 7:53 a.m.


    "back in the day..."

    Even back in the day, the only kids who did things similar to this were either the habitual trouble-makers, or those dumb enough to hang out with them. Toilet-papering a house was generally the height of 'practical jokes,' but even thirty years ago kids knew not to throw anything that exploded. Really, there is no news here in this story, only the enforcement of laws that have always been around. Frankly, the only reason why it's receiving attention is because a pretty girl is involved, and 'heaven forbid' we punish a pretty girl.

    Undoubtedly this will be a wake-up call to the teenagers involved that actions have consequences. While this involved a pageant winner, it could have been anybody. To be clear nobody is being picked on here. Anybody who plays with fire gets burned. Fortunately for them, in the end this will likely amount to a large amount of public embarrassment and probably probation if they are first time offenders.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Aug. 14, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    I think the gist of most comments are similar. Prank yes. Felony no. Let them completely off the hook, No. Some recompense is needed but Felony? No way.

    Glad we did not get this much attention for the dumb things kids did in my day. We would all be in jail. We did not hurt anyone but based on dumb we were right up there.

    Betting this will be a life changer for this young lady. If she does something similar again then get more serious but this is not a felony. Do not ruin a life for a dumb teenage lapse of judgment. Guessing most of my generation of teenagers (70's) have a story or 2 to tell. Most of us did OK.

  • toshi1066 OGDEN, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    I think it's a good plan, she needs to learn NOW that there are consequences for her actions. American society gives too many people "breaks" because of money and beauty already.

  • Mom of 8 Hyrum, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    While I sympathize with these kids/adults, I'm tired of dismissing such behavior as merely a "practical joke."

    There's nothing "practical" or "joking" about pranks. Pulling a prank on someone is actually a form of bullying, of demonstrating you have power over others, of setting yourself up while pushing others down.

    Even if no one is maimed or even hurt, still someone else has to clean up the mess. It's childish and demeaning, no matter the age of the culprit.

    No, this isn't criminal behavior, but practical joking is always harmful.

  • RDJntx Austin, TX
    Aug. 14, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    The days of doing things like this are gone. Back in the day this would have have been looked at as a prank and the police would have just taken them home or sent them home with a lecture about the stupid.

    Kid need to stop and think about the consequences of their actions a LOT more than they used to but the don't seem to get that. maybe this will be a wake-up call for more than Ms. Gill.

    I am with everyone else howver, no way should this be a felony or even a criminal charge. Stupid? in today's enviornment yes, but not criminal. give them a few hundred hours of community service and keep their records clean. (assuming this is their first brush with the law)

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    It's good to know another beauty queen's bombmaking days are officially over. This should be a pageant question.

  • djc Stansbury Park, Ut
    Aug. 14, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    The fact is that someone could have been seriously injured by the acid in these "bombs." These four "children" are legally adults. I think probation and eventual pardons should probably be the proper punishment. A society that allows adults to do things and then claim they didn't know what they were doing, is set-up for failure. These were serious acts committed by people who should have known better. These four were "honor" students! Did they take chemistry? Sorry, the they are just kids defense doesn't fly with me. Serious acts demand serious consequences. But, justice should be tempered with wisdom and compassion.

  • ute alumni paradise, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    Nowadays everything is taken to the extreme. I am glad that I am not a youth today because the pranks I played would have probably caused me to serve a life sentence. Kids do some dumb things. This was one. Now punish her for a prank. Felony? No way.

    Aug. 14, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    Let's hope the judge/jury recognize this for what it is--a stupid prank and not something malicious. Hopefully the district attorney will also come to his/her senses and withdraw the charges or reduced them to something (eg littering)that requires perhaps some community service.

  • TWfromAL Harvest, AL
    Aug. 14, 2013 6:09 a.m.

    It's a shame that critical thinking skills are not being taught in schools. I get the prank part but a bomb?? ....yeah, they weren't going to throw it at people... But they still built a bomb... I guess toilet paper, shaving cream and confetti is too boring these days.

  • Lovefilms London, 00
    Aug. 14, 2013 6:06 a.m.

    I wouldn't be so sure about the legal system handling it appropriately. If you get an over zealous prosecutor who because of the case notoriety and his likely hood of getting his name in the newspaper...if he or she really wants to swing the bat in this case...it could be quite ugly...my wish is that they do some sort of plea of obeyance type of thing..(i'm not an attorney) so that if there are no other issues in 12 months..the entire case will be dismissed and there will be no record.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Aug. 14, 2013 5:59 a.m.

    Thus we see the difference between intelligence and wisdom. Kids (and many adults, actually) don't always have the maturity to make wise choices. Give them a good scolding and let them move on.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    Aug. 14, 2013 5:48 a.m.

    More evidence of the success of "terrorists" in forcing US society to cringe and change. Or maybe it is more accurate to call it the success of the fear industries: journalism, the infotainment telesector, government, demagogues of all varieties, police and armed forces.

  • Love Utah Draper, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 5:31 a.m.

    Sometimes kids don't think and do stupid things. I think this belongs in that category. I hope this young lady manages to put this behind her, learn from it and move on and do great things in life. I for one wish her well.

  • dragon12 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 12:26 a.m.

    Silly mistake? This is a sad commentary for those who have been given example setting positions. Not ever getting into trouble before is like the pedophile who has never been caught...and when he's caught, saying he didn't mean to harm anyone. I wonder why these youth didn't think about throwing these bottles in their own homes on their kitchen floors instead of in public places. Makes me wonder where they put their chewed gum and throw their gum wrappers. No silly mistakes here, only very poor choices with deserving consequences.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Aug. 13, 2013 11:52 p.m.

    Give all of them a break. If toilet bowl cleaner and plastic bottles are bombs then everyone has bomb making supplies in their house. Isn't that supposed to be a crime too?

    I don't think noise makers are the same thing as bombs. Crazy world.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 11:15 p.m.

    This looks like a case of the prosecutor overcharging the offense. She said they didn't throw these at anyone unless the prosecutor can prove otherwise the jury oUght to acquit. I'm certain she is not a danger to the community.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    Who voted for the politicians who made the laws that made this act a felony? Which political party rules this state that made this ridiculous law? Laws are made by politicians who are put in office by us. Did you write your congressman when this law was passed to decry it's purpose and effects? I highly doubt it.

    If this young lady had a Hispanic surname, would you all be up in arms over this action.

    For the record, I think this entire situation is overkill. Perhaps a citation and a fine, but a felony? Come on.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    I'm sure plenty of people will say "It doesn't matter what their intention was" and support the felony charge.

    However, it's often also said that "You'd feel differently if it were your kid" and people usually argue against that. The truth is, there is no arguing against it. when put in the shoes of someone getting stones cast at them, everyone all the sudden finds that sympathy they somehow couldn't muster up while they had a stone in their hand.

    The point of justice isn't retribution but helping everyone, perpetrator and victim alike, turn to the right and doing what is productive. Serving felonies producing nothing necessary here. Forgiveness goes much farther to convincing someone than getting even.

    People hate being told they have a stone in their hand. But the truth is the truth and no one can escape it. In the end I'd rather be found with an empty hand, if not for my own sake if I wasn't willing to think about the person I was throwing it at.

    These teenagers need our help. A felony is not the best thing we can offer to anyone here.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Aug. 13, 2013 10:34 p.m.

    Give the girl a break. A dumb prank yes, a felony ? No. I'm glad her family and frinds are standing by her.