This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
After Luke Dollahite went on a bloody locker-room rampage that left five of his classmates seriously injured, the 16-year-old boy had a question for the paramedic that was bandaging a self-inflicted knife wound on the teen's neck.
The teen wanted to know if he had killed any of the boys he had attacked, the assistant principal at Mountain View High School recalled in a statement submitted to a judge. Charles DeWitt wrote that the paramedic answered with a simple, "No."
"I will never forget Luke's reaction when the officer answered him," DeWitt wrote. "He put his head down, as if he were disappointed, and said, 'This wasn't supposed to end this way.' "
In DeWitt's emotional statement, he recalled how Nov. 15 started as a seemingly normal day that quickly escalated into confusion and chaos after Dollahite began his attack in the boys' locker room. DeWitt remembered one student coming to him, covered in blood. As they heard Dollahite scream out after being stunned with a Taser by a school resource officer, the injured boy looked up at him and asked if he was going to die.
"It was all I could do to maintain my emotions and to reassure him that he would in fact live," the administrator wrote, "and that help was on the way."
The five injured students, as well as Dollahite, did survive. And Dollahite on Tuesday admitted in juvenile court to the attacks, pleading guilty to four counts of attempted aggravated murder.
As part of a resolution, Dollahite also agreed to plead guilty to a fifth attempted aggravated murder charge in the adult court system. The case was formally filed in 4th District Court on Thursday. A number of documents, including DeWitt's statement, were made public as a result of the case being filed in the adult system.
Also made public Thursday was a "Memorandum of Understanding" that outlined the case and the plea deal that attorneys agreed to after lengthy negotiations. In the document, attorneys agreed that Dollahite would be sentenced to a youth secure care facility for the crimes that he admitted to in juvenile court, which a judge ordered on Tuesday. And after he pleads guilty to the charge filed in adult court, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a 10-year-to-life prison term.
Utah law states that attempted aggravated murder generally carries a 15-year-to-life sentence, but allows a judge to order a lesser 6-year-to-life or 10-year-to-life sentence if the court finds it is "in the interest of justice."
Attorneys also agreed to recommend that Dollahite not begin serving prison time until he is discharged from secure care in the juvenile system. The Youth Parole Authority will ultimately decide how long Dollahite remains in the juvenile facility, but the time cannot go beyond his 21st birthday.
Dollahite is expected to be arraigned in the adult court on April 14.
Prior to going to school on Nov. 15, Dollahite gathered a bo staff, knives and other "tools to inflict physical violence against others," prosecutors wrote in charging documents. He began his attack by striking a teen with the bo staff, which broke, before stabbing the four other boys and himself.
He later told police that he was not targeting anyone in particular, but was trying to create as many victims as possible. During his juvenile court sentencing, his parents apologized and said their son suffered from mental illness.
The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not identify juveniles charged with crimes unless they have been certified for adult court.