Clay Brewer was seventeen when he murdered a counselor. According to court documents Clay Brewer was sent to a youth treatment center to help him overcome his drug addiction. Five days after his arrive Clay Brewer would attack and fatally beat a male counselor and attacked a female counselor with a piece of rebar. Clay Brewer would take off from the scene in a stolen car however he would be arrested a short time later. This teen killer would be found guilty and sentenced to five years to life.
Clay Brewer 2023 Information
- Offender Number: 239132
- Offender Name: CLAY HITSON BREWER
- DOB: Fri, 20 Aug 1999
- Height: 6 Feet 1 Inches
- Weight: 200
- Sex: M
- Location: CENTRAL UTAH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
- Housing Facility: CUCF BOULDER
- Parole Date: N/A
- CLAY HITSON BREWER
Clay Brewer Other News
An Arizona teen was sentenced to serve five years to life in prison for beating a man to death while at a youth treatment facility in Garfield County in 2016.
Clay Brewer, 19, of Snowflake, Arizona, was sentenced Thursday in 6th District Court in Panguitch for the murder of 61-year-old Jimmy Woolsey on Dec. 6, 2016, while at the Turn-About Ranch rehabilitation facility near Escalante.
According to court records, Brewer pleaded guilty in July to a first-degree felony count of murder and second-degree felony for aggravated assault. The first charge carries a prison term of five years to life, while the second carries a one-to-15-year prison term.
The felony aggravated assault charge stems from Brewer attacking a second Turn-About Ranch staff member after killing Woolsey.
According to police records, Brewer, then 17, told Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies following his arrest that he woke up “heartless.”
His addiction had taken over his life and that it controlled him
Brewer had been at Turn-About Ranch for about five days and said he had “a bad pill addiction,” and later stated “his addiction had taken over his life and that it controlled him.”
Brewer’s mother, who submitted a letter to the court on her son’s behalf, said Brewer had been a “happy and friendly person” since he was very young. He always had a smile on his face and a great sense of humor. He would also get compliments from teachers, friends and others about the “good things he did.”
She also described him as “generous and caring, loving and forgiving.”
However, problems began to arise following the divorce of Brewer’s parents and ended on less-than-amiable terms due to an “ugly custody battle,” Brewer’s mother wrote. She noticed her son started to change when he was 15. He started to hang out with different friends and started drinking alcohol and chewing tobacco, and he occasionally used marijuana and prescription pain pills.
“By the time I was aware of his drug use, he had advanced to cocaine and other illegal drugs,” she wrote.
Brewer’s mother and father decided to have their son admitted to Turn-About Ranch in Utah.
According to police records, after arriving at the rehabilitation facility, Brewer said he had had suicidal thoughts and had drank bleach in an attempt to kill himself.
His mother was made aware of the situation and the pain of withdrawals he was going through.
“The next communication I received was the early morning on December 6, 2016, where I was told of the horrific nightmare that had occurred at the hands of my son,” she wrote.
The morning of Dec. 6, Brewer obtained a piece metal rebar, according to police records.
Woolsey, who had gone outside to check on a group of teens sitting around a campfire, was attacked by Brewer and hit with the rebar multiple times. After Woolsey became unresponsive, Brewer took his wallet and keys. He tried leave the area in Woolsey’s vehicle, but it wouldn’t start.
Brewer told another teen who witnessed the attack not to say anything. However, the other teen told another ranch staff member – Alicia Keller, according to The Salt Lake Tribune – that “Clay hit Jimmy.” Keller went to see what had happened and saw Woolsey on the ground with a sleeping bag on top of him.
While outside, Brewer went after Keller.
“He’s at me full blast hands up with the rebar in his hands and he hit me on top of the head twice,” Keller later told sheriff’s deputies.
Keller ran back into a building where other residents were and kept the door closed so Clay Brewer could not enter. He demanded the keys to her vehicle or else he would “break in” and “kill everyone,” Keller said, according to police records.
Keller gave Clay Brewer her keys and he left. To keep the others safe, she took them out of a back door where they hid behind a building.
According to the police records, Keller had two black eyes and her head in a bandage, and had multiple stitches when deputies spoke to her. She was also distraught and emotionally traumatized from the incident.
“(Brewer) just killed Jimmy,” she said. “He tried to kill me.”
Keller was later praised by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office for keeping others safe.
Following the assaults, Clay Brewer took Keller’s vehicle and led responding sheriff’s deputies on a high speed chase. The deputies performed a maneuver that caused the vehicle to roll and crash against a tree. They arrested Brewer but not before he made it appear as if he had a gun.
“His plan when the cops caught him was to hold up the ‘iron’ and act like he had a gun,” the deputy wrote.
“‘So I could be shot and killed,’” Brewer said, according to the report.
Clay Brewer went on to tell deputies that, with everything that had happened to him, coupled with coming off of drugs, he had “lost his mind” and allegedly never had a thought of beating anyone. He even described Woolsey as a “great guy” he had only known for two days prior to the assault.
“Oh course, when you’re coming off drugs and alcohol like I was, you lose your mind,” Clay Brewer said. “That’s where I was at. I lost my mind.”
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, emotions ran high in the courtroom as Judge Wallace Lee pronounced Brewer’s sentence and ordered him to prison.
Brewer’s family was present and supportive of the young man who has been described as “an All-American boy” by an aunt in a letter to the judge.
In their letters to Lee on Brewer’s behalf, family members asked for mercy and said how the teen had improved in the two years since the Dec. 6 incident at Turn-About Ranch.
When he had a chance to address the court, Clay Brewer apologized for what happened and said he regretted his actions every day. When he pleaded guilty in July, he told the court he would accept whatever sentence he was given, the Tribune reported.
However, due to the nature of the crime and the impact it had on the surrounding community – Woolsey was touted as a man many people knew and loved – Garfield County Attorney Barry Huntington told the judge a prison sentence was necessary.
Lee, who said he grew up alongside Woolsey and knew his family, also became emotional at one point, according to the Tribune. He told Brewer he didn’t consider him a monster or a bad person, nor did he hate him, yet he hated what the teen had done.
Woolsey left behind a wife and 10-year-old daughter.
Woosley’s widow, Brenda, was present at Brewer’s sentencing hearing and told the court she wanted Brewer to be incarcerated for life, the Tribune reported.
Clay Brewer Other News
Clay Brewer was once a happy kid who loved baseball and making people laugh — until a pain pill addiction sent him spiraling.He once tried to kill himself, then brutally killed another man at a Utah youth ranch in 2016.And for the death of 61-year-old Jimmy Woolsey, Brewer was sentenced Thursday to spend at least five years and possibly the rest of his life in prison.It was an emotional hearing in the Panguitch courtroom, as the community that knew and loved Woolsey wept at the loss of the man who was raised in rural Garfield County, a beloved father and a husband who worked at the ranch to help others. Even the judge became emotional, saying he grew up alongside Woolsey and knew his family well.And then there were those who cried for Brewer.
His family stood by him, penning letters to 6th District Judge Wallace Lee asking for mercy and speaking on his behalf at his Thursday sentencing. Two years after his crimes, they say, he’s clean and getting better. The old Clay, the teen who was so happy and helpful, is still there.But his crimes were too terrible for anything less than a prison sentence.“I want you to know I don’t consider you to be a monster,” the judge told the teen before sending him to prison. “I don’t consider you to be a bad person. I hate what you’ve done. But I don’t hate you.”
Growing up, Clay Brewer was funny, well-behaved and loved playing baseball. The Arizona teen helped other kids at school and coached his younger cousins. An “all-American boy,” an aunt described in court.That all changed when he was 15 years old. He struggled with his parents’ divorce, his mother wrote in a letter to the judge, and she began noticing a change. His friends were different. He started drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and eventually started taking prescription pills.“I was at a loss for a solution,” his mother, Nikki Carter, wrote. “I felt I had tried everything I knew to help him.”As his drug use increased, Brewer’s parents decided to send him to rehab. They settled on Turn-About Ranch, a private youth-rehabilitation facility in the small south-central Utah town of Escalante.The price tag was hefty — a $15,000 down payment, his mother wrote, and the parents expected to pay $36,000 for his stay.
But they were desperate.“We wanted nothing more than to help our son and save his life,” the mother wrote.During Brewer’s stay at the ranch, he struggled with withdrawals and tried to kill himself by drinking bleach. His mother wrote that she found out later that he was in a part of the ranch where students were not allowed to wear shoes and given very little food. On those cold December days, the teens were allowed to go inside a cabin only to sleep at night.It was on Brewer’s fifth day at the Utah ranch — Dec. 6, 2016 — that he would pick up a metal bar and rock Garfield County.
Clay Brewer woke that morning feeling “heartless,” he would later tell police, like he had lost his mind.It was in those early morning hours when Woolsey came to check in on a group of teens who were sitting around a fire when the attack began. Clay Brewer ran toward the 61-year-old staffer and began hitting his head over and over again with a piece of metal rebar.“I paused,” the teen later told police about the attack. “I couldn’t bear to think about what I had done. I just stood there.”But he didn’t just stand there. The violence continued.As Brewer attacked Woolsey, the other teens rushed to a nearby cabin and alerted another staffer, Alicia Keller.
Trying to hold the door closed, she struggled to keep Clay Brewer out of the cabin, and in the process, the teen beat Keller’s hand and smacked her in the head. She still is disabled from the injuries. Clay Brewer went back to Woolsey’s body, Keller told police, and grabbed the man’s wallet and keys and tried unsuccessfully to start his truck.Keller finally gave Clay Brewer her own car keys so he would leave.From there, Brewer led police on a high speed chase through the rural residential area until police were able to stop his car.After the 17-year-old’s arrest, news of Woolsey’s death and Brewer’s other crimes spread through Escalante and the county.
Garfield County Attorney Barry Huntington said Thursday that so many in the community were left grappling with how something like this could happen. Why Jimmy? Why Alicia?“Jimmy wanted to help people,” Huntington said. “Alicia wanted to help people. That’s why they worked where they worked.”
As Brewer’s case wound its way through the legal system the past two years, the crimes continued to haunt Garfield County residents, Huntington said. Officers who chased Clay Brewer through the neighborhoods, emergency personnel who tried to save Woolsey’s life, the other teens who then witnessed a brutal assault — all were affected.But Huntington also noted at Brewer’s sentencing hearing that the community rallied around the ones who were hurting, providing support to Woolsey’s and Keller’s families.“That’s why I live in Garfield County,” he said. “We live here because we take care of each other. We take care of our own when we get hurt.”Because the crimes impacted so many, Huntington told the judge Thursday that a prison sentence that could keep Brewer behind bars for possibly the rest of his life was necessary
Woolsey’s widow, Brenda Woolsey, said she never wants Clay Brewer to be free again. Her husband’s death has shattered her, she said Thursday, and left her teenage daughter without the man who adored her.“I ask that you receive the same sentence that you gave me,” she read from a letter directed to Brewer. “To be alone.” Clay Brewer, now 19, has spent two years wondering how he could make right what he had done. The first step was pleading guilty in July to murder and aggravated assault instead of going to trial. He said before he was sentenced that he would accept whatever punishment came to him, and he would work to help others and make himself better while in prison.When he pleaded guilty, Brewer apologized in court and asked parents to speak with their children about drug abuse, how the most dangerous substances are often sitting in a medicine cabinet.“It’s a matter of time before they are found and abused potentially by a young child who has no knowledge of these demons that are pressed inside those pills,” he said. “It’s an epidemic not only in my own case but in close friends I used to know who have lost their lives.”
As he apologized, Brewer said he thinks of Woolsey’s widow and prays for her every day. He often thinks of Keller, and hopes she heals and finds happiness. He thinks too of the other youths at Turn-About, how his actions affected their own recoveries.But most of all, he thinks of Jimmy Woolsey.He regrets his actions every day, he said, and will look to Woolsey’s life as an example of how to live his in prison.“I really pray that one day I can meet you and say this to your face and apologize from the bottom of my soul,” Clay Brewer said. “And you may accept my apology not because of my words but how I lived my life after I have taken yours.”
Clay Brewer Other News
A 19-year-old Arizona man was sentenced to prison Thursday for the brutal slaying of one worker and assault on a second staffer at a Southern Utah rehabilitation ranch for troubled teens in 2016.
A 6th District Court judge ordered Clay Brewer to serve at least five years and up to life in prison on the murder conviction and at least one year and up to 15 years for the assault.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Authorities say Brewer, of Snowflake, killed 61-year-old Jimmy Woolsey with a metal fire poker as he tried to escape the Turn-About Ranch in Garfield County five days after he arrived in December 2016.
Brewer injured another staff member by striking her in the head before stealing her car and leading deputies on a brief chase, according to authorities.
After his arrest, Brewer told investigators he had intended to act like he had a gun so police officers would fatally shoot him.
He also said he was coming off an addiction to pills while at the camp and tried to kill himself there by drinking bleach.
According to Brewer, his path to drug abuse began when his parents divorced.
Brewer pleaded guilty to reduced charges of murder and aggravated assault in July, saying he would accept whatever punishment came to him.
At an emotional sentencing hearing in the Panguitch courtroom Thursday, Brewer apologized to the victims and their families.
Brewer’s attorney Ron Yengich said his client’s case is “an object lesson for the extremes that can come from drug abuse.”
“The reality is that he’s like so many other kids out there, and adults. They get involved with opioids and don’t realize the impact it has on their lives and it takes over their lives and changes them into people they would never have been,” Yengich told the Deseret News.
Clay Brewer FAQ
Clay Brewer Now
Clay Brewer is currently incarcerated at the Central Utah Correctional Center
Clay Brewer Release Date
Clay Brewer is serving a life sentence however he is eligible for parole in 2021