Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Utah Teenager One Month After Remains Are Found
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A squatter charged with murdering a Utah teenager has officially pleaded guilty to the crime.

James Brenner was charged in the 2022 disappearance of 19-year-old farmer Dylan Rounds, whose remains were found last month after Brenner told authorities where to find the body. On Wednesday, Brenner formally pleaded guilty to Rounds’ murder, the Box Elder County Attorney’s Office said in a press release.

Brenner had reached a plea deal with prosecutors that required him to tell authorities where Rounds’ body had been left.

“In exchange, Brenner received a reduction from first-degree felony aggravated murder to second-degree felony murder. The second charge, desecration of human remains, was dismissed,” the attorney’s office said.

Brenner also pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person. His plea agreement closed three cases, two of which related to Rounds. The third case involved an aggravated assault and was not related to Rounds.

Under the plea agreement, Brenner will be sentenced for each charge and will serve his time consecutively. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 1.

Rounds disappeared in 2022 after speaking with his grandmother on the phone, the New York Post reported.

“On April 9, 2024, skeletal remains presumed to belong to Dylan Rounds were recovered in the remote western Box Elder County area of Lucin,” the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook. “The FBI assisted the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office by processing the area for evidence and recovering the remains.”


Brenner was squatting on land next to Rounds’ trailer when he allegedly murdered the teen, East Idaho News reported last year, and was charged with one count of aggravated murder and one count of abuse or desecration of a human body. Brenner had a violent criminal history and had been arrested on outstanding warrants in June 2022 before authorities announced that he was a suspect in Rounds’ disappearance.

During a hearing last year, Brenner appeared with a limp, prompting Rounds’ parents to accuse him of attention-seeking behavior.

“He’s despicable. His whole act of limping around is a complete act,” Rounds’ mother, Candice Cooley, told East Idaho News at the time. “I don’t know if it’s so we think he’s going to die or make him some sort of deal but he wants people to feel sorry for him.”

“He looks for attention to have people feel sorry for him. That’s all. I think it’s an act,” Rounds’ father, Justin, told the outlet.

“Our hearts go out to the family of Dylan Rounds,” the sheriff’s office said. “We offer our sincerest condolences for the loss of their family member. We understand that the pain of their loss is immeasurable, and we want to express our deepest sympathies to them. It is our hope that they can find peace moving forward.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Utah Teenager One Month After Remains Are Found