Derek Petersen, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Both men cited in a November BASE jump off the LDS Church Office Building have now pleaded not guilty to criminal trespass and disturbing the peace infractions.
Hartman Rector, 28, of Holladay, entered his plea before Salt Lake City Justice Court Judge John Baxter Wednesday morning. He is next scheduled to appear at a hearing at 9 a.m. March 15. Marshall Miller, the other man cited, pleaded not guilty in a Monday arraignment.
Acting Salt Lake City Prosecutor Scott Fisher met with Rector before the arraignment. "It was just an opportunity for us to tell him our perspective on the case and essentially tell him what kind of offer we can make." Rector has hired a lawyer; Miller said on Monday he planned to hire a lawyer.
Fisher reiterated that he will not speculate on whether there will be any charges against the driver of a vehicle that took the BASE jumpers away after they landed in an empty parking lot across the street from the Church Office Building.
On Nov. 12, two men reportedly jumped 420 feet from the 26th-floor observation deck of the 28-story LDS Church Office Building, located at 50 E. North Temple, at 3:41 p.m.
Several witnesses described the jump and photographed the jumpers. In surveillance video released by the church, two men are seen wearing noticeably large backpacks in the elevator on their way to the upper floor. Employees within the building and passersby outside reported seeing the parachutists descend, then land in a parking lot north of the building and flee in a silver sport utility vehicle.
BASE is an acronym that stands for buildings, antennae, spans (bridges) and earth (cliffs), and jumping from such locations is believed by thrill-seekers to be the ultimate extreme sport. However, it is also one of the more dangerous thrills to seek, according to death statistics related to the sport.
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