A subdued Addam Swapp appeared in U.S. District Court to have five years added to his 15-year federal prison sentence for use of a firearm in the bombing of a Kamas church in 1987.
Swapp, sporting hair that fell to the middle of his back, didn't bring any scriptures to the courtroom or call court officials to repentance as he was wont to do during past court appearances.When U.S. District Chief Judge Bruce Jenkins asked Swapp for a comment, Swapp said only, "I've been trying for the past eight months to get transferred closer to home."
"I'm happy to make that recommendation for whatever value it has," Jenkins said.
Swapp had been incarcerated in a federal prison in Arizona along with his brother, Jonathan. However, prison officials became concerned about having the two brothers in the same prison and transferred Addam Swapp to Tennessee nearly a year ago, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Lambert.
While Jenkins can recommend a prison switch for Swapp, he can't order it, said U.S. Attorney Dee Benson. "The judge has no authority to tell the federal government what federal prison to put someone in," he said.
Jenkins also encouraged U.S. marshals to let Swapp have a "contact" visit with his family while in Utah so "the kids will have a chance to touch their father."
Swapp's wife, Charlotte, was present in the courtroom with Swapp's children. But Charlotte's sister, Heidi - also Swapp's wife - was absent.
Jenkins added five years to Swapp's federal sentence after Benson appealed his earlier sentence to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and asked that the court instruct Jenkins to add five years to Swapp's sentence for use of a firearm in bombing the church. Use of a firearm in bombing the church was the second count in a seven-count conviction.
The court concurred with Benson that the bomb used to demolish part of the church qualified as a firearm and instructed Jenkins to add five years to Swapp's sentence for the use of the bomb.
"We have no desire to slam Swapp with an excessive term," Benson said. "We appealed because it was clear the judge did not follow the law."
Swapp's attorney, John Bucher, was not happy with the added sentence. Noting that if Swapp's appeal on the state sentence doesn't work out, "He could spend 30 years in prison. That's too much."
Swapp's federal sentence is one to 20 years and his state sentence is one to 15 years, Benson said. However, a state law says an inmate cannot spend more than 30 years in prison serving state and federal sentences for the same crime.
Swapp, his brother, Vicki Singer, Swapp's two wives and John Timothy Singer held federal officers at bay for 10 days in January 1987 at the Singer farm. The standoff began after Swapp bombed a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kamas. Vicki and John Timothy Singer are also serving federal sentences.
A Department of Corrections official was killed in the stand-off. Swapp was convicted on seven federal charges relating to the bombing, the stand-off and the officer's death.