Judge Orders Man to Stand Trial for Murder in Deaths of Two Eagle Mountain Toddlers

Provo, Utah – In a tragic incident that shook the community, two 3-year-old boys, Odin Jeffrey Ratliff and Hunter Charlie Jackson, lost their lives while playing in a horse corral in Eagle Mountain. The fatal accident occurred on May 2, 2022, when a car swerved off the road, crashing into Cedar Valley Stables. The driver of the car, Kent Cody Barlow, now faces two counts of murder after a 4th District judge’s ruling on Monday.

Initially charged with manslaughter, Barlow’s charges were elevated to murder after prosecutors amended the charges in March 2023. Judge Robert Lund’s decision to order Barlow to stand trial for two counts of depraved indifference murder and one count of possession of a controlled substance has sparked debates over the interpretation of the law and the circumstances surrounding the tragic incident.

During the hearings leading up to the trial order, evidence was presented that indicated Barlow’s reckless driving behavior and the significant impact it had on the lives of the two young boys. Witnesses testified that Barlow was driving at a dangerously high speed, well above the legal limit, and failed to heed warnings from passengers in the car to slow down.

One of the key arguments in the case revolves around the concept of “depraved indifference murder,” with the prosecution asserting that Barlow’s actions exhibited a callous disregard for the safety of others, resulting in the tragic deaths of Odin Jeffrey Ratliff and Hunter Charlie Jackson. Barlow’s defense attorney, Benjamin Aldana, has challenged the application of this legal principle, arguing that the specific circumstances of the incident should be taken into account.

In light of new information and updates to the law following the fatal crash, the defense has raised concerns about the impartiality of the judge overseeing the case, Judge Robert Lund. By filing a motion to disqualify Lund, Aldana is seeking to ensure a fair trial for Barlow and address potential biases that may impact the legal proceedings.

As the case progresses towards trial, the community remains heartbroken over the loss of two young lives and hopeful for justice to be served. The tragic events of that fateful day continue to resonate, underscoring the importance of accountability and responsibility when it comes to actions that have such devastating consequences.