Father of murdered daughter calls killer a 'monster'
By: Marcos Ortiz
Posted: Jan 19, 2018 05:50 PM MST
Updated: Jan 19, 2018 06:22 PM MST
SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) - Jayden Sterzer asked for forgiveness from the family of a 12-year-old girl he murdered.
But Kailey Vijil's family was not in a forgiving mood during the 18-year-old's sentencing hearing in juvenile court.
In 2015, he lured Vijil to go with him. She agreed to help him find his lost cat. But she never returned. er body was found in a field a short distance away.
In December, Sterzer pleaded guilty to sexual assault and murder. But as part of the plea deal, Sterzer will serve time both in juvenile and adult detention.
Friday, Sterzer was sentenced in juvenile court to detention. His time there will be determined by the youth parole board. By law he can remain there until he turns 21-years old. Once he completes his sentence he will return to an adult court for sentencing. He faces 15-years-to-life for the first degree murder.
Sterzer did not speak during Friday's sentencing. His attorney read his letter addressed to Vijil's family.
"Dear Kailey's family, I am sorry for what happened I wish I could go back in time and make for it never happened," Monica Diaz-Greene read in court. "I know what I did was wrong and I'm sorry for what I caused."
Sterzer in his letter said he understood if the family could not forgive him. The Vijils didn't.
Orlando Vijil, Kailey's father said he was angry and upset as he spoke before the judge. The judge said he understood. He said his daughter "was truthful, brave and helped others."
"I don't think this pain will ever go away," he said.
He recalled speaking with Sterzer in their West Valley neighborhood. Both families live a few blocks from each other
"I didn't realize I was talking to a monster," Vijil said. "The judgment (by God) on him is unimaginable. This monster will never be in paradise."
Before issuing his sentence juvenile judge James Michie had harsh words for him.
"What you did to Kailey shocks the conscience and it shocks it to the core," said Judge Michie.
He also told Vijil's family that their daughter can never be brought back but he hoped the legal process "will give you some level of comfort."
Afterwards, the Vijil family attorney said there was no sense of justice.
"They're relieved that this chapter's closed. Honestly they don't feel too differently than they did before the hearing," said Spencer Banks. "There's no actual true sense of justice."