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Family finds no justice after son killed in autoped accident

OGDEN Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A family claims they have been “victimized” a second time. Nine months ago Deveraux Hallett was killed while crossing an intersection on his bike in Harrisville.
OGDEN Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A family claims they have been “victimized” a second time.
Nine months ago Deveraux Hallett was killed while crossing an intersection on his bike in Harrisville.

“We definitely feel like there is a lack of justice in this particular case,” says his father, Mike Hallett.

Harrisville police say the driver hit Hallett and claimed the driver ran a red light and was texting at the time.

“He didn't even hit his brakes until after impact,” says Hallett.

But the driver, Jeff Hanes was only given a citation for running a red light and texting.

“In the court documents, there's not a single mention of the death of Deveraux even though the individual ran a red light was driving and texting,” says Hamlett.

Harrisville police recommended Hanes be charged with driving and texting and causing a death.
But the Weber County attorney's office declined saying pinpointing the exact time of a text is difficult to prove in court.

"All of that takes a period of time,” says deputy county attorney Gary Heward. “And when you try getting very specific proving it happened at this minute and at this second, it's impossible to do."

His grandfather couldn’t understand their rationale.

“I was just shocked that it was just a traffic violation for killing my grandson,” says Hal Hallett. “There was no mention of Dev at all. That's what hurt us the most.”

The Hallets were at least hoping Hanes could be charged with vehicular homicide or negligent homicide. But that didn't happen either.

“You have to have criminal negligence to prove so it's just not a matter of driving and causing a death,” says Heward. “I may drive and cause a death but unless I'm criminally negligent there is no criminal homicide charge that goes with it.”

But the Halletts question if running a red light and texting is “negligent.” Heward wouldn’t answer only saying there wasn’t sufficient evidence.

“To have the tragic loss of your only child and then to have it compounded by a driver who is going to get away with it,” says Mike Hallett.
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