George Wesley Hamilton, convicted killer in the brutal slaying of a Fillmore college coed, has filed an appeal with the Utah Supreme Court. His attorney says evidence at the trial was circumstantial and insufficient to convict him.
Hamilton was convicted twice in 4th District Court of the 1985 murder of Sharon Sant, 19, who was attending Southern Utah State College at the time of the murder. Her body, found near Cove Fort by a Utah Department of Transportation road crew, was mutilated and parts severed from the torso in what Millard County Sheriff Ed Phillips described as the most bizarre and gruesome murder in the history of the county.Hamilton was first convicted in 1987. The trial was held in Provo because Hamilton's attorneys said an impartial jury could not be seated in Millard County.
Hamilton was sentenced to five years to life in prison for second-degree murder, but the verdict was overturned by the Utah Supreme Court. Justices said a juror took a newspaper story about the case into the jury room during deliberation.
Another trial followed in October 1989. The killer was given the same sentence after the second conviction. He is in the Utah State Prison.
Hamilton's attorney, Fred Metos, said his client was guilty only of the reckless assistance in the victim's death, blaming the murder on Robert Bott. One witness testified that he saw Bott with Sant and Hamilton in the latter's truck. Hamilton's bloody fingerprint was found on a bottle at the scene of the murder, however.
Because of perceived inconsistencies and other legal technicalities, Bott was released from custody and was never tried for the crime.