Judge sets an October hearing in Allgier case

Published: Friday, Jan. 30 2009 11:38 p.m. MST

Curtis Allgier

Laura Seitz, AP

No one knows who Curtis Michael Allgier's lawyers will be or whether he will be brought to court with single or double handcuffs, but 3rd District Judge Robin Reese on Friday set a four-day preliminary hearing in October for Allgier in order to get the case moving.

Reese set Oct. 20-23 for Allgier's preliminary hearing and directed both defense attorneys and prosecutors to exchange witness lists.

Allgier, 29, is charged with capital murder in connection with the 2007 shooting death of corrections officer Stephen Anderson. Salt Lake District Attorney Lohra Miller has said publicly her office will seek the death penalty if Allgier is convicted.

Allgier was in court Friday, despite his objections to being restrained with a single set of handcuffs.

Allgier's attorneys, who are all from the Salt Lake Legal Defenders Association, have long sought to withdraw from the case because they believe many employees there have conflicts of interest that could jeopardize a fair trial. Recently, Allgier agreed with them on that point and has asked to be represented by other attorneys.

He also has asked to be "double-cuffed" when he is brought to court, because he says he has a shoulder problem and restraining him with one set of handcuffs behind his back, which is the typical practice, hurts his shoulder. Double-cuffing involves one set of handcuffs attached to each wrist and then linked together, which does not pull the defendant's arms together so much.

Prosecutors said they would not object to double-cuffing, but only if they get updated medical information from a doctor that states Allgier's shoulder problem requires it.

Several other hearings are scheduled before October to address the attorney/conflict of interest situation, the double-cuffing issue and whether the contents of a mysterious letter regarding Allgier sent by an outside party to another judge in the Matheson Courthouse should be made public.

E-mail: lindat@desnews.com

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