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Deseret News honored for coverage of Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial, other awards

Published: Friday, July 31 2015 8:29 p.m. MDT

Arnulfo Landeros looks up to the sky before boarding a deportation plane in Salt Lake City that will eventually take him to Harlingen, Texas on Thursday, August 26, 2010. From Harlingen, deportees ride a bus to Brownsville, Texas where they are released at the border and walk on foot across a bridge into Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. (Kristin Murphy, Kristin Murphy, Deseret News) Arnulfo Landeros looks up to the sky before boarding a deportation plane in Salt Lake City that will eventually take him to Harlingen, Texas on Thursday, August 26, 2010. From Harlingen, deportees ride a bus to Brownsville, Texas where they are released at the border and walk on foot across a bridge into Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. (Kristin Murphy, Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Deseret News' coverage of the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial earned the newspaper top honors for general reporting in the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association awards.

Reporters Pat Reavy, Dennis Romboy, Paul Koepp and Emiley Morgan combined to cover the six-week trial that ended with Brian David Mitchell being found guilty of kidnapping Smart and taking her across state lines for the purpose of illegal sexual activity.

The Dec. 10, 2010, verdict came more than 8½ years after Smart, then 14, was abducted from her bedroom window and held hostage for nine months. Six months later, Mitchell was sentenced to life in federal prison.

The Deseret News' coverage of the trial included testimony from Smart, whom Reavy described as "strong and poised" throughout the proceedings.

Juan Jimenez leads a group of thousands at a march to rally for immigration reform in the United States on State Street in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday, March, 21, 2010. (Mike Terry, Mike Terry, Deseret News) Juan Jimenez leads a group of thousands at a march to rally for immigration reform in the United States on State Street in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday, March, 21, 2010. (Mike Terry, Mike Terry, Deseret News)

Reavy also received a pair of third-place awards in the contest for overall beat reporting and for a spot-news story about the body of 4-year-old Ethan Stacy being found and the arrest of the boy's mother and stepfather. Reavy shared the award for that story with former Deseret News reporter Lana Groves.

Sara Lenz and Brian West earned first place in investigative reporting for "Body of Lies," which documented a yearlong investigation of Martin MacNeill and the suspicious death of his wife, Michele MacNeill.

Elizabeth Stuart took second place in that category with her investigation into Islamic links at the Beehive Science & Technology Academy, a Utah charter school. Stuart also earned third place in the feature story category.

Deseret News photographers also had a strong showing in the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association contest.

Utah Senator Robert F. Bennett listens to banking and mortage representatives in a banking committee meeting in the Dirksen Senate building in Washington D.C.  on Wednesday, Nov., 17, 2010.   (Mike Terry, Mike Terry, Deseret News) Utah Senator Robert F. Bennett listens to banking and mortage representatives in a banking committee meeting in the Dirksen Senate building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Nov., 17, 2010. (Mike Terry, Mike Terry, Deseret News)

Laura Seitz took home first place and "Best of Show" awards in the picture story/photo essay category for images in a series about addressing the causes of homelessness.

Seitz's overall portfolio also received first-place honors, and she earned second place in the general news photo category. Seitz's Deseret News colleagues Kristin Murphy and Mike Terry earned second and third place, respectively, for their overall portfolios.

Tom Smart took home top honors in the sports feature photo category with "Just Missed," an image that shows Carlos Boozer's reaction to a missed final shot during the Utah Jazz's playoff series against the L.A. Lakers in May 2010.

Murphy earned first place in the sports photo division for "Mud," a photo of a muddy saddle bronc rider during the state high school rodeo finals in June 2010. She also earned a pair of third-place awards in the picture story/photo essay and feature photo classifications.

Nine-year-old Karrie Norton gets a surprise visit from her mother, Kristin Norton, at McMillan Elementary School in Murray on October 1, 2010.  Norton has been serving in Afghanistan since April and returned home today.  Watching them reunite is Kristin's mother, Robyn Larsen, Kristin's other daughter Jessica, and Kristin's friend Tonja Murphy.   (Laura Seitz, Laura Seitz, Deseret News) Nine-year-old Karrie Norton gets a surprise visit from her mother, Kristin Norton, at McMillan Elementary School in Murray on October 1, 2010. Norton has been serving in Afghanistan since April and returned home today. Watching them reunite is Kristin's mother, Robyn Larsen, Kristin's other daughter Jessica, and Kristin's friend Tonja Murphy. (Laura Seitz, Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

Terry received a second-place award in the portrait division and third-place honors for sports feature photo.

Other Deseret News reporters and photographers who received awards were Jeff Allred, second place in spot-news photography; Jay Evensen, third place for editorials; and Mike Sorensen, third place in sports features.

Overall, the Deseret News finished third in general excellence behind The Idaho Statesman and The Spokesman-Review.

Deseret News reporters and photographers competed with other newspapers in the region with a circulation of more than 50,000.

Email: jpage@desnews.com

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