Deserae Turner homecoming queen: Utah teen student shot in the head and left for dead by two classmates beats the odds & triumphs as she is crowned royalty at Green Canyon High School.
Revenge is bitter sweet. A Utah teen who survived getting shot in the head by two of her classmates and being left for dead in a ditch just over two and a half years ago – was last week crowned her school’s homecoming queen.
Deserae Turner, 17, walked onto the field at Green Canyon High School in North Logan last Friday — decked out in a silver gown, a royal blue shawl and a tiara the Salt Lake Tribunal reports.
‘I was just a homecoming queen, there’s nothing special about that,’ Turner told FOX 13. ‘But if you think about what I’ve been through, yes — it’s very special. It is very awesome.’
Turner was elected queen in voting by nearly 1,400 students.
‘There are times when I just want to go out and ride [horses]. I just want to be normal again. I just want to be me. But this is me now, and I just have to embrace it.’
Turner was only 14 in February 2017 when classmates Colter D. Peterson and Jayzon Decker devised a plan to ‘get rid’ of her as they played video games. Turner had been messaging Peterson on social media.
The pair lured Turner to an isolated dry canal bed behind a high school in Smithfield, about 90 miles north of Salt Lake City, then shot her and left her for dead in a ditch, prosecutors said.
Peterson was accused of pulling the trigger, and Decker, of encouraging him to do so.
Since then, Turner has undergone 10 brain surgeries and defying doctor’s expectations that she’d ever be able to walk again.
‘She had to relearn everything,’ her mom, April Turner, told SLTB. ‘She is the most determined person I have ever known, and I saw it in her even as a toddler.’
Since the incident, Turner hasn’t been able to go to school full-time, but she has been able to attend for three hours a day and take online classes.
Despite the challenges, she is still expected to graduate on time.
‘It is definitely hard,’ Turner said. ‘There are times when I just want to go out and ride [horses]. I just want to be normal again. I just want to be me. But this is me now, and I just have to embrace it.’
‘It was a lot, but it was so worth it,’ Turner added. ‘I truly wish every one of us high school girls would be able to experience such a magical night.’
Both Peterson and Decker were sentenced last year to at least 15 years behind bars.