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Jumper enters plea in LDS Church Office Building jump

Published: Wednesday, March 2 2011 5:27 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — One of two men cited after BASE jumpers parachuted off the LDS Church Office Building in November entered a guilty plea in abeyance Tuesday to one infraction.

Marshall Miller, 32, and Hartman Rector, 28, were each cited for one count of criminal trespass and one count of disturbing the peace, both infractions. Miller pleaded to the criminal trespassing in Salt Lake City Justice Court. The disturbing the peace infraction was dropped in exchange for the man's plea.

Miller was ordered to pay $300, was forbidden from returning to the LDS Church Office Building and was given six months of probation.

Rector has pleaded not guilty. He has a pretrial conference on March 15.

No charges have been filed against the driver of a vehicle that took the two jumpers away after they landed in an empty parking lot across the street from the church's headquarters.

On Nov. 12, two men reportedly jumped 420 feet from the 26th-floor observation deck of the 28-story LDS Church Office Building, 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.

Both counts carry a base fine of $750, with surcharges that could boost the penalty to a $1,200 maximum fine for each count.

e-mail: emorgan@desnews.com

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