By: Melanie Porter
UTAH COUNTY, Utah (KSTU) — Previously charged with two counts of manslaughter, a man who was driving and allegedly killed two toddlers in Utah County in May 2022 is now charged with two counts of murder.
The Utah County Attorney’s Office filed amended charges against Kent Cody Barlow, the driver accused of hitting and killing two 3-year-old toddlers in Eagle Mountain.
Barlow is now charged with two counts of murder, first-degree felonies as well as one count of possession or use of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor.
In May 2022, the two toddlers, identified as Odin Ratliff and Hunter Jackson, were playing in a corral when a car crashed through the fence, killing them instantly.
At the time, investigators said the driver, identified as Barlow, was impaired and driving nearly 100 miles per hour when he ran through a stop sign and left the road.
In the days after the crash, manslaughter charges were filed by previous Utah County Attorney David Leavitt.
The mother of Odin Ratliff, who was killed, said at the time that she was upset and felt “blindsided” by the manslaughter charges. She told KSTU she felt “shocked” that the manslaughter charges meant Barlow would not spend life in prison.
Leavitt told KSTU when the charges were initially filed, “secondary felony is the most serious charge under state law we can charge,” and that each manslaughter charge carried a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Barlow was seen during a preliminary hearing for the previous charges in July where three passengers who were in his vehicle testified along with both toddler’s parents.
Under the new Utah County Attorney, charges were amended for Barlow on Wednesday.
This story was originally published on March 16, 2023, by KSTU in Salt Lake City, an E.W. Scripps Company.