This story is poorly reported, and this is simply not quality journalism. There
is a storyline behind all of this and it is not being told. Being upset or
angry at the LDS church to the point that you cause this much damage to a house
of worship and potentially endanger human life, is not just some small
disagreement or misunderstanding. This crime was done with fore thought and
with malice. I hope that the PC police and the fear of
offending/indicting someone or some special interest group is not preventing the
real story and the actual truth from being told. If he was mad at
being disciplined-so long as he disclosed that information-print it. If he was
upset about a tenant of doctrine-tell us what it is. If he was upset by a
recent action of the First Presidency, then state what it was. The whole story
feels like someone is not telling the truth and that key detials are being
ommitted due to politics and a fear of not upsetting people. I hope
eventaully that some reporter will have the courage not to bow to the PC police
on this story.
His parents would have to be really careful in what they said about their son,
wouldn't they? Just because they didn't make a statement about his mental health
does not mean they weren't aware there were problems.
@Clark Kent: If a first time offender walked into your $500,000 house and burned
it to the ground, would you want to give him a slap on the wrist and give
him/her probation?? I think not.@Mightmite: Give me a break, just
because this guy is a member of the same church as me does not mean I think he
should not be fully accountable before the law when he knowingly and
premeditatively committed arson! @Delta Foxtrot: Are you a pilot?
We used to own a plane with Delta Foxtrot as part of the call number?The arsonist's parents said they had no idea what the motive was and did not
state that their son was in such a diminished mental capacity as to reduce his
culpability. I read nothing in the article entailing any known severe mental
illness. Did I miss something here? This all seems very strange or else very
Judge Atherton will not be getting my vote in her next retention election.
Probation for 1st degree felonies? To quote Vizzini, "Inconceivable".
It appears to be a case of a judge being totally out of touch with reality.
The last judge in that state of mind was Leslie Lewis. She got voted out of
office due to her inconsistant behavior.
One thing for sure, he's out and about, keep an eye on your church. It could be
RBN: I agree with you. There are other issues involved that we don't know
about and condemning the legal system or the judge in this case might be
premature until more of the facts of the case (i.e. mental or emotional
problems) are revealed.
Well when the fails lets just turn it over the one who right is to met out
He's already spent almost a year in jail, that's hardly 'no jail time' as some
of you are saying.
It is funny how many people that had nothing to do with a case want their pound
It's pretty obvious that there are mental illness issues at play here, and that
probation allows Mr. Ehat to get the help he clearly needs. Rehabilitation
should be a major goal of the criminal system. I don't have a problem with a
little mercy, compassion, and rehabilitation.
Does this mean that I can break the laws I want and get off the hook? (sarcasm)
I think the punishment is a little on the weird side. He obviously won't be able
to make full restitution as that would require over 30 years to pay back at
$1000 a month! Anybody here make enough money to pay that kind of dough in
restitution each month? And no jail time, or at least state hospital time
if the guy is unstable. Get the guy some help, but get him off the street till
he gets the help please!
"Do you always turn on your fellow brotheren when times are thin? "When times are thin? You make it sound like they're shunning a member
who lost his job in this economy and is begging for money, which is rather
different than 'guy who torches your church'.
The dude is LDS, where is the compassion? Do you always turn on your fellow
brotheren when times are thin?
Somehow this doesn't make sense. Please, Deseret News, advise more
on this story as it begs to be told. Unless there is something
drastically missing in this story, Judge Judith Atherton needs to be held
responsible. The DA needs to be added to that list too.
Wasnt she the same judge that refused to forcibly medicate Brian David Mitchell
when he was at the state hospital?
3rd District Judge Judith Atherton. Remember the name.
Yes Clarkkent, it would make me and a lot of other people happier. That's why
we pay taxes, to keep individuals like this behind bars facing the justice that
they deserve! This is a ridiculous case of the judge looking the other way, and
a perfect example of how flawed our legal system can be.
I believe this was probably a wise sentence, though I am a bit surprised by it.
I think the judge showed a lot of compassion, due to the defendant's mental
illness and the fact that it was his first cluster of offenses. I
attend one of the buildings that was burned. While it was difficult dealing with
the aftermath of this crime (I won't call it a hate crime, due to this
individual's diminished mental and emotional capacities), many of us felt
sympathy for the man, and especially his family, as details about his situation
came to light. I hope he gets the help that he needs, and that he may have the
mental stability become a productive member of society.While I
appreciate the good intentions of those that are (and will) voice their
disappontment over the light nature of his sentence, remember that he will deal
with his mental illness and fallout from this act for the rest of his life,
whether or not he spends any time in jail.
The $400,000 amount seems kind of low to me. Even if that's the
right amount, I doubt a mentally unstable guy like this is going to earn
$400,000 anytime soon to make full restitution.
Well we could spend thousand and thousands of dollars having a trial and then
sentence this apparent first time offender to prison and spend thousands and
thousands of dollars housing him in prison. Would that make some of you
Let's hope the next fire he causes doesn't kill anyone. I'm curious about the
judge's feellings toward the LDS church. I wonder if it had been a meetinghouse
of a different faith, if the sentencing would be different.
If this had been Utah House Majority Leader he would have gotten a standing
It would definitely be helpful to hear/read the details of this case and why
such a decision was made.Very difficult to understand, particularly in the
light of other recent sentencing.
Standard, it was his first offense. If he breaks probation he goes to jail.
Sounds more like a tragic story than a hardened criminal causing fires. The judge is the person responsible AI... and he showed mercy and justice.
Not to your liking?
Wow! There must have been circumstances not mentioned in the article for such a
light sentence. I would think a bit of time in jail or prison would be
How's that for "turn the other cheek?"Are you feeling that
justice has been done?
This is a crime that cost an estimated $400,000. If someone had embezzled that
amount of money they would not have been given probation only. I feel this
person has committed a hate crime, and has gotten away with out any punishment.
Something is wrong with this one.
Suspended sentence and probation for an admitted double arsonist?!?!?!?!?Please post the name of the judge so that the people can vote accordingly if
he/she attempts to run for re-election.
Who in the world is responsible for the sentence in this arson? The is
outrageous. How can this individual compensate the church for the damage? This
is another example of the atrocious legal system. Unbelievable.