A Moab teenager who was allegedly behind the steering wheel during a fatal March 5 car accident that claimed the lives of two other teens was arraigned last week on two charges of criminal automobile homicide.
Prosecutors have also charged 18-year-old Gage Moore with second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child and two third-degree felony counts of driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs. In addition, he faces misdemeanor charges of lewdness involving a child; “unlawful purchase, possession, consumption by minor”; and reckless driving.
His preliminary hearing is expected to be held some time this summer, according to the San Juan County Attorney’s Office.
Moore, who was booked into the San Juan County Jail on Wednesday, April 26, was scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday, May 2. But after a bail hearing was held at his defense attorney’s request on Friday, April 28, the presiding judge arraigned him at the same time.
The Moab Sun News has requested an audio recording of the previously unscheduled April 28 bail hearing and arraignment in Seventh District Juvenile Court in Monticello. That request is currently under review.
According to court officials, Moore’s defense attorney and the San Juan County Attorney’s Office have 14 days from the day the recording was requested on Monday, May 1, to respond to the request.
While the official charging documents against Moore are a matter of public record, the “criminal information,” or case files, remain sealed, due to Moore’s age at the time of the incident.
Although Moore turned 18 just four days after the crash, the court system views him as a juvenile because he was still 17 years old on March 5. The process to formally charge Moore as an adult is expected to take some time, according to the San Juan County Attorney’s Office.
Authorities say that excessive speed and alcohol are believed to be contributing factors in the March 5 accident near Ken’s Lake, which killed 14-year-old Taylor Bryant and 16-year-old Connor Denney of Moab. Seventeen-year-old Daniel McCrary and 14-year-old Tierney DeMille, both of Moab, were seriously injured when the 2003 Subaru Impreza that Moore was allegedly driving lost control and crashed on the La Sal Mountain Loop Road before 7:30 a.m. that morning.
Moore was also injured in the accident.
Under the law, he is presumed to be innocent unless or until a court convicts him of any charges.
Case files remain sealed due to suspect’s age at time of incident