The second murder trial of Charles Nicholas Strain, 56, accused of the 1981 slaying of a young woman whose body was found by hunters in Spanish Fork Canyon is set to begin Monday in 4th District Court before Judge George E. Ballif.
In March 1986, Strain was arrested and charged with killing Deanna Jane Dean. Hunters found Dean's body in October 1981. She remained unidentified for more than four years. Investigators believe she died on or about June 11, 1981.Strain was found guilty of second-degree murder by a 4th District jury in September 1986 and sentenced to five years to life in the Utah State Prison. However, the Utah Supreme Court sent the case back to the district court after ruling that a confession made by Strain to police shortly after his arrest was inadmissible. Strain said police said he could get the death penalty if he did not confess.
Strain remains in custody at the Utah State Prison pending the outcome of the new trial. Prosecutors expect the trial to last about one week.