(CBS/AP) FARMINGTON, Utah - A 15-year-old boy charged in the stabbing deaths of his younger adopted brothers had his father by his side during his first court appearance Tuesday.
According to CBS affiliate KUTV, the purpose of the hearing was for the judge to explain the charges, two counts of first-degree murder, against the teen. The juvenile court judge also made sure the boy understood his rights.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Aug. 27. According to the station, that hearing will be to determine whether there is probable cause to proceed with a trial. If probable cause is established, a subsequent hearing will be scheduled to determine if the teen will be tried as an adult or juvenile.
Police say the younger brothers, ages 4 and 10, were found stabbed to death inside their West Point home on May 22 after they were left home alone with their older brother. The teenager was charged with murder about a month later.
The teenager squinted as he listened to the judge Tuesday. His father didn't speak during the hearing and declined comment afterward.
The teen's legal representative says the father is supporting his son even though the victims were also his children.
The Associated Press is withholding the names of the teenager and the father due to the boy's age.
KUTV reports that if the 15-year-old is convicted as a juvenile, he would be released from prison at the age of 21. If convicted as an adult, he could face up to life in prison.
The Davis County Attorney's Office is reportedly expected to push for adult certification.
Todd Utzinger, the boy's attorney, said the teen's parents want their son to be tried as a juvenile and the judge will likely consider that factor.