Teen Charged In Boy’s Death Tries Suicide

A teenager charged in connection with last year’s Russian roulette-style shooting death of another youth apparently attempted to commit suicide this week in the Bonneville County Jail.

Authorities said Frank L. Dana, 15, was treated for neck injuries Monday night and then returned to the jail. Officials said he was not seriously injured.

Bonneville County Prosecutor David Johnson said Tuesday’s hearing at which Dana was expected to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter was postponed because Dana was experiencing psychological problems that could influence his ability to enter a voluntary plea.

Johnson said Dana, who has been charged as an adult, tentatively had agreed to plead guilty to the felony charge in the death of Shawn Uttich, 16, in return for a recommended sentence of confinement at the Youth Services Center in St. Anthony, Idaho, until he is 18, followed by five years of probation.

Uttich was sitting on his bed when Dana aimed a gun at him and the weapon fired. Uttich, who had not handled the gun at any time, died of a single gunshot to the head.

Dana told investigators the shooting was an accident, and he passed a lie-detector test.

Accounts varied from two other teenagers in Uttich’s room at the time, but police believe one of the youths unloaded all but one round from the revolver. One of the youths checked to see if the bullet was in firing position, then stuck the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger, according to police reports. Dana may have aimed the gun at his own head and pulled the trigger before he aimed the gun at Uttich.

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