18-year-old accused of murdering Toquerville woman makes court appearance

ST. GEORGE — The 18-year-old accused of murdering Geraldine Bommerito, 58, of Toquerville, on March 18 appeared at a roll-call hearing in Washington County’s 5th District Court Monday.

Joshua David Canfield Appeared before District Judge Jeffrey Wilcox via a video feed from Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility where he is being held.

Canfield was represented at the hearing by criminal defense attorney Ariel Taylor, who asked Wilcox to schedule a second roll-call hearing. Wilcox set the next hearing for April 14 before Judge Eric Ludlow.

Canfield was charged by the Washington County Attorney’s Office on March 24 with first-degree felonies for murder and aggravated robbery, a second-degree felony for arson, three counts of second-degree felony theft, a second-degree felony for obstruction of justice, third-degree felonies for aggravated assault and drug possession, class-A misdemeanor theft and three class-A misdemeanors for charges relating to assault against a police officer.

Canfield is being charged as an adult according to the Utah Code which allows juveniles to be charged as adults in cases of murder or aggravated murder. Canfield was 17 at the time of the offense, but has since turned 18 on March 28.

The charges stem from an investigation of a residential burglary in Toquerville by Washington County Sheriff’s deputies on March 19 in which Canfield was listed as a suspect. Two firearms and some collectible coins were stolen in the burglary.

Canfield was later seen at a convenience store in Washington City, where he made a purchase with some coins that matched the description of those taken in the burglary. Witnesses provided police with the license plate number of the car Canfield was driving and it was registered to Bommerito. Deputies then responded to her home. 

Deputies found Bommerito dead in her home in Toquerville on March 19 from what appeared to be a gunshot wound. As the investigation continued, deputies found Bommerito’s car in Springdale and it had been destroyed by fire.

Deputies named Canfield as a “person of interest,” and ultimately found and arrested him in Springdale. At the time of his arrest it was reported that he had two firearms in his possession and was belligerent and combative with detectives when they initially contacted him.

At his initial appearance in District Court on March 25, Judge John Walton found that Canfield was indigent and appointed public defender Aric Cramer to represent him. Walton also set Canfield’s bail at $500,000.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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