'Absolutely heartbreaking': Investigators still searching for answers in 35-year-old murder mystery

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 30 2011 1:19 a.m. MDT

“They came into that store knowing they weren't going to leave anybody to testify and they didn't,” he said. “They executed her. We'll never know the hell that Othea went through.”

Nisonger and Beverleigh have continued to have brushes with the law over the years.

State court records in Utah show that Nisonger has been convicted of eight felonies since 1986. In 2006, he was No. 2 on Utah's Most Wanted list when he was arrested following a traffic stop in Juab County. Officers found martial arts throwing stars, knives and a pellet gun in the car — all items Nisonger is prohibited from possessing because of his prior felony convictions.

Nisonger, now 59 years old, is still serving time in the Utah State Prison for his conviction on the felony charges stemming from the Juab County arrest and parole violations. His next parole hearing is set for August 2017.

“He's not a model inmate and he's never been a model citizen,” Gibson said.

Beverleigh's crimes in recent years have been minor, for the most part. He has convictions for misdemeanor counts of assault and mischievous conduct, Utah court records show.

But in December 2006, Beverleigh made headlines when the Salt Lake County sheriff's narcotics unit found a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation in the basement of his home. The set up was capable of growing hundreds of thousands of dollars of marijuana each year, authorities said.

Beverleigh pleaded guilty in 2007 to drug possession and drug manufacturing charges. He was ordered to serve 75 days in jail and three years on probation. Today the 57-year-old lives near the office where Gibson continues to search for the break that will solve the Wamsley case.

“I drove by and looked at his house the other day,” the investigator said.

E-mail: geoff@ubstandard.com, Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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