Panguitch • Clay Brewer was once as soon as a satisfied child who beloved baseball and making other people chuckle — till a ache tablet dependancy despatched him spiraling.
He was once a teen who as soon as attempted to kill himself, however then brutally killed some other guy at a Utah children ranch in 2016.
And for the dying of 61-year-old Jimmy Woolsey, Brewer was once sentenced Thursday to spend at least 5 years and perhaps the remainder of his existence in jail.
It was once an emotional listening to within the Panguitch court docket, because the group who knew and beloved Woolsey wept at the lack of the person who was once raised in rural Garfield County, a loved father and a husband who labored at the ranch so he may lend a hand others. Even the pass judgement on was emotional, announcing he grew up along Woolsey and knew his circle of relatives effectively.
And then there have been those that cried for Brewer.
His circle of relatives stood via him, penning letters to sixth District Judge Wallace Lee asking for mercy and talking on his behalf at his Thursday sentencing. Two years after his crimes, they are saying, he’s blank and getting higher. The outdated Clay, the teen who was once so satisfied and useful, is nonetheless there.
But his crimes had been too horrible for the rest lower than a jail sentence.
“I want you to know I don’t consider you to be a monster,” the pass judgement on instructed the teen earlier than sending him to jail. “I don’t consider you to be a bad person. I hate what you’ve done. But I don’t hate you.”
Growing up, Brewer was once humorous, well-behaved and beloved enjoying baseball. The Arizona teen helped different children at faculty and coached his more youthful cousins. An “all-American boy,” an aunt described in court docket.
That all modified when he was once 15 years outdated. He struggled together with his folks’ divorce, his mom wrote in a letter to the pass judgement on, and she or he started noticing a exchange. His pals had been other. He began consuming alcohol, smoking marijuana and sooner or later began taking prescription tablets.
“I was at a loss for a solution,” his mom, Nikki Carter, wrote. “I felt I had tried everything I knew to help him.”
As his drug use greater, Brewer’s folks determined to ship him to rehab. They settled on Turn-About Ranch, a non-public youth-rehabilitation facility positioned within the small south-central Utah the town of Escalante.
The ticket was once hefty — a $15,000 down fee, his mom wrote, and the oldsters in overall anticipated to pay $36,000 for his keep.
“We wanted nothing more than to help our son and save his life,” the mum wrote.
During Brewer’s keep at the ranch, he struggled with withdrawals and attempted to kill himself via consuming bleach. His mom wrote that she discovered later that he was once in a a part of the ranch the place scholars weren’t allowed to put on sneakers and given little or no meals. On the ones chilly December days, the kids had been allowed to head within a cabin most effective to sleep at evening.
It was once on Brewer’s 5th day at the Utah ranch — Dec. 6, 2016 — that he would pick out up a steel bar and rock Garfield County.
It was once in the ones early morning hours when Woolsey got here to test in on a team of teenagers who had been sitting round a hearth when the assault started. Brewer ran towards the 61-year-old staffer and started hitting his head again and again with a piece of steel rebar.
“I paused,” the teen later instructed police concerning the assault. “I couldn’t bear to think about what I had done. I just stood there.”
As Brewer attacked Woolsey, the opposite teenagers rushed to a within sight cabin and alerted some other staffer, Alicia Keller.
Trying to carry the door closed, she struggled to stay Brewer out of the cabin, and within the procedure, the teen beat Keller’s hand and smacked her within the head. She is nonetheless disabled from the wounds.
Brewer went again to Woolsey’s frame, Keller instructed police, and grabbed the person’s pockets and keys and attempted unsuccessfully to begin his truck.
Keller in spite of everything gave Brewer her personal automotive keys so he would depart.
From there, Brewer led police on a prime pace chase during the rural residential space till police had been ready to prevent his automotive.
After the 17-year-old’s arrest, information of Woolsey’s dying and Brewer’s different crimes unfold via Escalante and the county.
Garfield County Attorney Barry Huntington stated Thursday that such a lot of in the neighborhood had been left grappling with how one thing like this is able to occur. Why Jimmy? Why Alicia?
“Jimmy wanted to help people,” Huntington stated. “Alicia wanted to help people. That’s why they worked where they worked.”
As Brewer’s case wound its method during the felony machine the previous two years, the crimes endured to hang-out Garfield County, Huntington stated. Officers who chased Brewer during the neighborhoods, emergency workforce who attempted to save lots of Woolsey’s existence, the opposite teenagers who then witnessed a brutal attack — all had been affected.
But Huntington additionally famous at Brewer’s sentencing listening to that the group rallied across the ones who had been hurting, offering reinforce to Woolsey’s and Keller’s households.
“That’s why I live in Garfield County,” he stated. “We live here because we take care of each other. We take care of our own when we get hurt.”
Because the crimes impacted such a lot of, Huntington instructed the pass judgement on Thursday that a jail sentence that would stay Brewer at the back of bars for perhaps the remainder of his existence was once essential.
Woolsey’s widow, Brenda Woolsey, stated she by no means needs Brewer to be unfastened once more. Her husband’s dying has shattered her, she stated Thursday, and left her teenage daughter with out the person who adored her.
“I ask that you receive the same sentence that you gave me,” she learn from a letter directed to Brewer. “To be alone.”
Brewer, now 19, has spent two years questioning how he may make proper what he had accomplished. The first step was once pleading guilty in July to murder and aggravated assault as an alternative of going to trial. He stated earlier than he was once sentenced that he would settle for no matter punishment got here to him, and he would paintings to lend a hand others and make himself higher whilst in jail.
When he pleaded to blame, Brewer apologized in court docket and requested folks to talk with their kids about drug abuse, how essentially the most unhealthy elements are incessantly sitting in a medication cupboard.
“It’s a matter of time before they are found and abused potentially by a young child who has no knowledge of these demons that are pressed inside those pills,” he stated. “It’s an epidemic not only in my own case but in close friends I used to know who have lost their lives.”
As he apologized, Brewer stated he thinks of Woolsey’s widow and prays for her each day. He incessantly thinks of Keller, and hopes she heals and unearths happiness. He thinks too of the opposite youths at Turn-About, how his movements affected their very own recoveries.
But maximum of all, he thinks of Jimmy Woolsey.
He regrets his movements each day, he stated, and can glance to Woolsey’s existence as an instance of tips on how to reside his in jail.
“I really pray that one day I can meet you and say this to your face and apologize from the bottom of my soul,” Brewer stated. “And you may accept my apology not because of my words but how I lived my life after I have taken yours.”