Approximately 80 people were expected to be riddled with questions Tuesday as attorneys began the task of selecting a jury for a capital-murder trial.
Twelve jurors and two alternates will face the task of deciding the fate of a man accused of killing two women last December.Edward S. Deli, 22, is charged with two counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of a blind 76-year-old Murray woman and her 49-year-old daughter. Both were killed as they returned home to their Summit County cabin after shopping for Christmas gifts on Dec. 22.
In addition to the slayings of Kay Tiede and Beth Potts, Deli also faces charges of attempting to kill Tiede's husband, Rolf Tiede, kidnapping their two daughters, robbing Rolf Tiede at gunpoint, stealing his vehicle and assaulting a police officer. He is also accused of pouring gasoline throughout the cabin and setting it on fire.
It is not the first time Deli had been charged with aggravated arson. In March 1989, Deli was charged with a first-degree felony for setting a business at 653 N. 200 West, Salt Lake City, on fire. Court documents say he admitted torching the building and pleaded guilty to attempted arson, a third-degree felony, as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors. A judge ordered him to pay $35,000 in restitution.
Deli was with two teenage friends when he torched the business. Salt Lake fire investigator Steve Herrmann said he told the friends the vacant business was "where Ted Bundy used to take his women friends before he (killed) them" and also said he needed to burn the building "because of the evil spirits."
"He supposedly burned the house because God made him do it," said Herrmann, who helped prosecute Deli.
Deli was sentenced to the Utah State Prison for a 90-day evaluation and was then placed on probation. He violated his probation in January 1990 when officers went to his Central City apartment and discovered he was harboring runaway juveniles, court documents state.
His apartment was "trashed" and the windows were knocked out. Court documents further state that Deli is "indigent" and had previously attempted suicide. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.
He was eventually ordered back to prison to serve the remainder of his arson sentence. In November 1990 he was paroled to a Salt Lake halfway house, where he met Von L. Taylor, 26. Both men walked away from the facility a week before the crimes in Summit County occurred.
Last week, Taylor pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder. In exchange for his pleas, prosecutors agreed to drop seven other felony charges but still plan to seek the death penalty against him.