The Utah Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the appeal of a former Clearfield man who said court errors should invalidate his convictions and prison sentences for aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping.
In the ruling, released Friday, the justices denied each of the appeals issues raised by Douglas A. Lovell, 29, who is serving a mandatory minimum 15 year sentence in the Utah State Prison.Lovell was convicted by a 2nd District jury in December of 1985 on one count each of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping involving a South Ogden woman attacked outside a private club.
Judge Rodney Page, ruling there were aggravating circumstances, imposed the toughest minimum prison term of 15 years on each charge, to run concurrently.
Among his arguments on appeal, Lovell claimed the judge erred by informing each prospective juror that the victim and star witness, Joyce Yost, 39, had disappeared less than two months after she testified at a preliminary hearing and before the trial.
Yost was last seen Aug. 11, 1985. Her car was later discovered in the foothills east of Ogden, but police have never found any other trace of her.
The justices ruled that telling jurors about the disappearance did not prejudice the jury.