SALT LAKE CITY — Lata tahi hopes that her son Paul’s passing will lead to a positive change in the world. She remarked that there should be justice for everyone, and not just the three lads in question. Tivani Lopati and Paul Tahi were both slain by gunfire as they stood outside Hunter High School in West Valley City about a year ago. Ephraim Asiata was also shot and is currently being treated in the hospital for his injuries.
Two counts of felony murder were first filed against the gunman, who was only 14 years old at the time of the incident. On Monday, the teenager appeared in front of a judge for juvenile court and acknowledged committing manslaughter. It has been decided that he will spend the next six years in a juvenile facility.
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On Thursday afternoon, Sinia Maile and other members of Paul’s family made the decision to hold a vigil outside the office of the Salt Lake County District Attorney. As the event progressed, the vigil developed into an outspoken protest.
She stated, “I assumed it was just going to be my family coming out here,” but she was surprised by how many others from their neighborhood came out. I believe that it just stems from the fact that there is a culture of the community.”
“The past three days have been excruciating for our family. On Monday, we listened in disbelief as our son’s shooter admitted to reduced charges and was sentenced to juvenile detention. While we would not want any other family to go through the loss of a child, we are greatly disappointed with the leniency of the sentence, which is not proportional to the gravity of the crime that was committed. “This miscarriage of justice has left our family in a state of anguish.
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