Barlow Ordered to Stand Trial for Murder of Eagle Mountain Toddlers

Provo, Utah – A judge in the 4th District ordered Kent Cody Barlow on Monday to stand trial for the deaths of two toddlers in Eagle Mountain. The tragic incident occurred when a car veered off the road and crashed into Cedar Valley Stables, where the 3-year-old boys, Odin Jeffrey Ratliff and Hunter Charlie Jackson, were playing.

Barlow, initially charged with manslaughter, now faces two counts of depraved indifference murder and one count of possession of a controlled substance. The decision to upgrade the charges came after prosecutors presented evidence linking his actions to the tragic outcome at a hearing last Friday.

Deputy Utah County attorney Ryan McBride argued that Barlow’s reckless driving and drug use met the criteria for depraved indifference murder. On the other hand, Barlow’s attorney, Benjamin Aldana, contended that the law required the action to be specifically directed at the victims, whom Barlow was unaware of at the time.

Testimony from witnesses revealed that Barlow was driving at a high speed, ignored pleas to slow down, and ran a stop sign before crashing into the stables. Data from a passenger’s phone indicated that Barlow was accelerating to 123 mph just before the crash, well above the legal limit of 45 mph.

Furthermore, a blood test conducted at the hospital showed that Barlow had consumed a significant amount of methamphetamine prior to the accident. Witnesses reported seeing Barlow engaging in dangerous behavior, such as doing doughnuts in a field, before the fatal crash occurred.

The judge’s order highlighted that Barlow’s actions created a high probability of death and emphasized the severity of the case. The law for depraved indifference murder was amended shortly after the incident, but the judge determined that the previous version of the statute applied to Barlow’s case.

In light of these developments, Barlow’s defense team raised concerns about the trial timeline, prompting a motion to disqualify the judge from the case. They argued that the trial setting for September did not allow sufficient time to prepare a defense for the upgraded charges of murder.

This motion marked the second time the defense requested the judge’s recusal, citing concerns about impartiality and the potential impact on Barlow’s right to a fair trial. The case continues to unfold as legal proceedings move forward following the tragic loss of two young lives in the Eagle Mountain community.