A MAN accused of killing a 19-year-old farmer was beaten by the victim’s parents after a court hearing.
James Brenner, 59, hobbled into the Utah courtroom Monday for a hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes.
He is accused of fatally shooting Dylan Rounds last May as he squatted on the young man’s property in Lucin, Utah, about 200 miles west of Salt Lake City.
But Dylan’s parents, both of whom were present at the hearing, felt that Brenner’s apparent walking disability was nothing more than a ploy to evoke sympathy.
“He’s despicable. All of his hobbling around is a complete act,” said the victim’s mother, Candice Cooley News from East Idaho.
“I don’t know if it’s because we think he’s going to die or make a deal with him, but he wants people to feel sorry for him.”
Dylan’s father Justin Rounds also spoke to the outlet.
“He’s looking for attention so that people feel sorry for him,” the father said.
“That’s all. I think it’s an act.”
Dylan’s body was not found, but evidence relating to the victim was found near Brenner’s trailer.
The 19-year-old’s boots were found next to a pile of dirt and his phone was recovered from the bottom of a nearby pond.
Brenner was charged in March with aggravated murder and abuse or desecration of a human body.
He has been in custody since June 2022 on firearms charges.
After Brenner was charged, Justin recalled a conversation with the suspect that may have provided clues as to a motive for the murder.
“When I got there, Brenner was talking about Dylan backing into his horse gate,” the father said.
“He was a little frustrated and I didn’t think much about it at the time. But that could have been the trigger for him.”
According to court documents, investigators recovered video from Dylan’s phone that appears to show Brenner, with bloodstains on his shirt and arms, cleaning a gun.
The video was taken about 30 minutes after Dylan called his grandmother, which was the last time anyone in the family heard from him.
Brenner’s next court hearing is scheduled for July 31.