Curtis Allgier is not withdrawing guilty plea, attorney says

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 16 2012 3:21 p.m. MDT

Prison inmate Curtis Allgier appears in court March 30, 2010. Despite reports, his attorney said Tuesday that Allgier does not plan to withdraw his guilty pleas in connection with the 2007 shooting death of a prison officer.

Francisco Kjolseth,

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SALT LAKE CITY — An attorney for Curtis Allgier, who recently admitted to shooting and killing a corrections officer during an escape, does not believe his client plans to withdraw his guilty plea.

"As of last Saturday, he was not intending on withdrawing his plea," said attorney Dusty Kawai.

Earlier this month, Allgier, 33, agreed to a plea deal in the shooting death of Department of Corrections officer Stephen Anderson, 60, in 2007. Allgier pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, disarming a peace officer, aggravated escape, aggravated robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon. He also pleaded no contest to three counts of attempted aggravated murder.

In exchange for his guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty. When he is sentenced on Dec. 5, Allgier is expected to get life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After his plea change, Kawai said Allgier saw an attorney not affiliated with the case making comments on a news report that Allgier had made a mockery of the system. Those comments reportedly angered the inmate, and he impulsively wrote a letter to a friend claiming he was going to withdraw his plea.

"I think that fueled some of the emotion in Mr. Allgier," Kawai said. "I understand why he was upset by some of the comments made."

He also noted that his client had been under a lot of stress because of a month-long fast he was participating in as part of a religious observance.

But after he had time to calm down, Kawai said Allgier decided to stick with his current plea bargain.

As of Tuesday, no motions had been filed in court for Allgier to withdraw his plea, which he has a legal right to request within a certain amount of time.

In another hand-written letter by Allgier that Kawai read to reporters following the Oct. 3 hearing, Allgier said he was pleading guilty out of respect to the Anderson family. He also indicated he would have more to say at sentencing.

The guilty plea came after years of legal delays, including unusual arguments and appeals such as: feeding the inmate more food to increase his weight, lawyer dismissals, attempts by Allgier to act as his own attorney, outbursts in court; fights to have a judge removed from the case; plans to cover his numerous tattoos with makeup during a trial and many others.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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