Shackled in chains and dressed in jail-issued orange jump suits, Von L. Taylor and Edward S. Deli appeared before a 3rd District judge Tuesday and pleaded "not guilty by reason of insanity" to murder charges and a list of other felonies.
Judge Frank Noel appointed two mental health examiners to perform psychological evaluations on the two defendants."We feel that's probably the most appropriate thing to do under the circumstances," Taylor's defense attorney, Elliott Levine, said to reporters after the hearing.
He said the insanity pleas are something "normally done" in capital murder cases so the defendants can obtain psychological evaluations.
Defense attorneys also filed motions to request that the trial be moved to another location in order to ensure a fair trial. The attorneys also filed a motion to try the two men separately.
Noel will hold a hearing on Feb. 19 to discuss the motions. The judge also set a tentative trial date for March 19.
Summit County attorney Robert Adkins told the Deseret News the state would push for the death penalty if the two men are found guilty of killing Kay Tiede, 49, and her blind and partially-crippled mother, Beth Potts, 76.
In addition to the two counts of capital homicide, both men are also charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Kay Tiede's husband, Rolf Tiede, in the head and face.
During a preliminary hearing earlier this month, Linae Tiede testified that both defendants, armed with handguns, confronted her as she returned to her father's Summit County cabin with her mother and grandmother on Dec. 22.
She said her mother and grandmother both asked Taylor, 25, and Deli, 22, what they needed and to take what they wanted. But she said the men did not respond except for Taylor, who shot the two women on the spot. The killings were completely unprovoked and occurred less than three minutes after they had entered their cabin, she said.
Rolf Tiede, 51, of Humble, Texas, testified that he and his 16-year-old daughter Tricia returned to their cabin that same afternoon and saw Taylor holding his daughter, Linae. He said Deli pointed a gun at him, ordered him to strip and asked if he had any money.
He said Deli took $105 from him and then Taylor ordered Deli to kill him. Although Deli pointed and cocked his gun, Taylor "became impatient" and took his gun from Linae's back and fired it at Rolf Tiede, hitting him in the face. Rolf Tiede said he played dead and felt gasoline being poured on his body before he was shot a second time in the back of the head.
Deli and Taylor ordered Linae and Tricia to leave with them and each girl drove one of the defendants away on snowmobiles, Linae Tiede testified. They later got into Rolf Tiede's automobile parked at the gate near the main roadway and were told they were going to New York.
Officers spotted the vehicle and a chase ensued with speeds exceeding 100 mph. The vehicle was finally stopped near Lemon's Dugway in Francis, Summit County.