Rolf Tiede fell face down on the floor of his cabin and pretended to be dead after he was shot in the face, doused with gasoline and then shot a second time in the head.
Tuesday, he identified one of the men charged with trying to kill him as the same person to whom he had given a helping hand on several previous occasions in the remote cabin community in Summit County.Tiede's testimony came during a preliminary hearing for Von L. Taylor, 25, and Edward S. Deli, 21. Both men were bound over to 3rd District Court and ordered to stand trial on charges of trying to kill Tiede, killing his wife and mother-in-law, kidnapping his two daughters, setting fire to his cabin and robbing him, among other charges.
If found guilty, the duo could receive the death penalty for the shooting deaths of Kaye Tidwell Tiede, 51, and her blind and partially crippled mother, Beth Harmon Tidwell Potts, 76.
Bearing facial scars from the afternoon of Dec. 22, Rolf Tiede told 3rd Circuit Judge Edward Watson he knew something was wrong as he rode his snowmobile onto his property in the Beaver Springs subdivision.
"I could see that someone was holding Linae (his daughter)," he said.
Linae Tiede, 20, said Taylor grabbed her by the throat and stuck a gun into her back as her father approached the cabin. Only one hour earlier her mother and grandmother had been shot to death and their bodies pushed off of the balcony, she said.
Deli is accused of then pointing a gun at the father and ordering him to take his clothing off. Rolf Tiede removed some of his clothing, then the two men - whom he described as "quite calm" and "as sober as you and I are today" - asked if he had any money.
The Humble, Texas, man said he tossed $105 at them and watched as Deli put the money into his pocket. He had only been at his cabin a little more than three minutes when the duo decided they would kill him, he testified.
"Mr. Taylor told Mr. Deli to go ahead and shoot me now."
"Had you done anything to provoke the defendants by this time?" asked Summit County deputy attorney Terry Christiansen. "Nothing," he replied.
Rolf Tiede said Deli pointed his gun at him and then cocked the weapon. As much as 30 seconds passed, but Deli did not pull the trigger. "Mr. Taylor became impatient and started pulling the trigger on his revolver," Tiede said.
The gun clicked twice, but did not discharge until the third time Taylor pulled back on the trigger, Tiede testified. "It hit me in the face and knocked me down."
Still conscious, Rolf Tiede said he froze - fearing he would be shot again if the assailants thought he was still alive. He said he heard the two men talking about the difficulty they were having getting the cabin to burn. He then heard more shots fired before one of them approached him again.
"I heard footsteps coming toward me and then there was another shot put in my head," he said, explaining that the bullet hit his left forehead. Somehow still conscious, he said he then felt someone pour gasoline on the back of his legs, back and his head.
He said he heard the suspects talking about taking his two daughters and eventually heard the sound of the snowmobiles fade away. He stood up and immediately tried to stomp out several fires that had erupted around him inside the cabin.
"At that point, I caught on fire, having been doused in gasoline," he said. Still bleeding from the head, he took off his burning clothes, patted the fire out with a towel and continued to battle other small blazes around him. Finally, he said he realized the fire was more than he could handle. He then hopped on a snowmobile and rode down the hill, where he met up with his brother, who phoned authorities from his portable telephone.
Rolf Tiede said he did not know where his wife was or what had happened to her and her mother. "I had strong feelings, but I did not know," he said.
Ironically, Rolf Tiede said he had assisted Deli on several occasions before and had never had a "bad situation" with either defendant before Dec. 22. "We helped him (Deli) get his three-wheeler unstuck on at least three different occasions," he said.
Linae Tiede, a Utah State University student, told how she had witnessed the execution-style shootings of her parents and grandmother. She and the two victims arrived at the cabin about 12:30 p.m. after spending a day Christmas shopping in Salt Lake City.
She said she entered the cabin first and was confronted by Taylor and Deli - both armed with handguns.
"I hollered, `Mom, there's robbers in the house.' " She said the men then ordered the other two inside. Beth Potts sat on a bar stool about 10 feet inside the cabin and Kaye Tiede was standing nearby, Linae Tiede said. "They were both asking (Taylor and Deli) what they wanted, what did they need."
The two men did not respond except with their weapons. "Von pulled out his gun and shot my mother," she said. "He turned and shot Beth Potts in the head. . . . She stood up and he shot her again, then shot (her) again in the chest after she fell."
She said the two women had been inside the cabin less than three minutes and did absolutely nothing to provoke the shootings.
Linae Tiede said she begged the two men to let her phone for paramedics, but they did not respond. "They acted like they didn't do anything. It was no big deal, like it was just another day."
After she was tied up and gagged, she said, "They talked about needing to throw the bodies over the balcony." Taylor - who was wearing Rolf Tiede's sweatsuit - asked Deli to help him move her grandmother, she said.
"He (Taylor) said, `I had to shoot the b. . . . twice in the head.' "
But she testified that one of them apparently got sick when moving the grandmother's body. "I can remember hearing (him) throwing up in the bathroom. . . . He said, `This is sick. This is gross. This is disgusting.' "
Linae Tiede told the two men they had done enough and begged them to leave. She said Deli told her, "You've seen what we look like. We're going to have to take you with us or kill you."
She said Taylor spread gasoline throughout the cabin, saying he had to cover up their fingerprints.
After her father was shot, she said, she and her sister, Tricia Tiede, 16, were ordered to go with the men and they left on snowmobiles.
She said she and her sister drove the duo to their father's car. As they left in the vehicle, she said, they told her they planned to go to New York and then out of the country and would send the girls back home once they arrived. But they had not traveled far before a deputy sheriff spotted them.
"They were like, `How did we get caught so fast? What did we do?' " she testified.
Taylor apparently drove the car through a roadblock and led officers on a chase with speeds more than 90 mph before they were finally stopped near Lemon's Dugway in Francis, Summit County, said deputy sheriff Tom Coleman.
"Von turned to Deli and said, `It's time for us to die now.' And Deli said, `No! No!' " Linae Tiede said.
Coleman said Deli pointed a gun at him when he came out of the car. A Kamas police officer fired at the suspects and they were subsequently taken into custody.
Taylor and Deli are scheduled to be arraigned before 3rd District Judge Frank Noel on Jan. 22. Each is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated arson, theft and aggravated robbery.