Harrison Pleads Guilty to Carjacking, Kidnapping; Crimes Resulted in the Death of another Person
SALT LAKE CITY – Dereck James Harrison, age 23, currently incarcerated at the Utah State Prison, pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking and one count of kidnapping in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City Thursday afternoon. The two crimes resulted in the March 12, 2016, death of an individual identified in charging documents as K.P.R. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby sentenced Harrison to life in federal prison following the convictions.
Harrison, who was charged by Felony Information in June, was arraigned on the charges contained in the Information earlier Thursday afternoon by U.S. Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells.
As a part of the plea hearing, Harrison stipulated to facts describing his conduct during the carjacking and kidnapping. He admitted that on May 12, 2016, he and his father, Flint Harrison, took a truck from K.R.R., an employee of the Utah Transit Authority, after violently assaulting the victim. He further admitted that when he and his father took the truck, his father intended to cause serious bodily harm or death to K.P.R. Harrison admitted he aided and abetted his father in the assault.
Harrison admitted that after carjacking the truck, he and his father abducted K.P.R. and transported him across state lines from Salt Lake City to Wyoming, where Harrison admitted that K.P.R. was killed by his father. Harrison again admitted that he aided and abetted his father in killing K.P.R.
Federal prosecutors had concurrent jurisdiction in the case with Salt Lake County, Utah, and Lincoln County, Wyoming. As a part of the plea agreement federal prosecutors reached with Harrison, they agreed to recommend Harrison’s federal sentence run concurrently with the sentence he received in Wyoming and one he is currently serving as a result of a conviction in Utah’s Second Judicial Court in Farmington. Harrison will finish the sentence he is currently serving at the Utah State Prison before being transferred to Wyoming or federal prison.
“The crimes of carjacking and kidnapping committed in this case are very serious federal crimes. The victim, killed during the commission of these crimes, was a resident of Utah. The crimes occurred in Salt Lake County. Although Harrison was prosecuted in Wyoming, it was important to my office and the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office that Utah’s interests in this case be vindicated. This guilty plea and the mandatory life sentence imposed resolve Utah’s interest. We have done our part to hold Mr. Harrison accountable for his actions in Utah,” U.S. Attorney John W. Huber said today.
“We also had a strong federal interest in the case because it involved the extensive use of federal investigative resources, including resources of the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service,” Huber said.