Sheriff's detectives are investigating a break-in at the same LDS chapel that was bombed last January by members of the Singer-Swapp family.
Keven Gunnarson, age unavailable, West Valley City, was arrested Monday night and booked into the Summit County Jail for investigation of burglary. Justice of the Peace LaMarr Gunn released Gunnarson on his own recognizance Tuesday afternoon.Summit County Attorney Bob Adkins, although not confirming the arrested person was Gunnarson, did confirm a crime was committed Monday evening at the Kamas LDS Stake Center, located a half-mile from the Singer property in Marion.
The break-in occurred late Monday, just hours before three polygamous family members were arraigned in nearby Coalville on second-degree murder charges in the Jan. 28 slaying of a lawman during a standoff sparked by the church bombing.
An audible alarm was sounded sometime around 10 p.m. Monday after a burglar broke through a plywood door in the rear of the chapel. A neighbor who heard the alarm notified the sheriff's office. Deputies arrested a man in the area a few moments later.
Nothing was taken from the chapel, and the only damage was to the door. But detectives are looking into a possible arson attempt, the county attorney said.
At the arraignment Tuesday, a preliminary hearing for Addam Swapp, Jonathan Swapp and John Timothy Singer was scheduled Sept. 27.
The three men appeared before 3rd Circuit Judge Maurice Jones on charges of second-degree murder, a first-degree felony.
The men were brought before Jones separately. Each was read the charge, then appointed counsel.
The Swapp brothers appeared unusually solemn, while the wheelchair-bound Singer, sporting a beard now, smiled at his sister, Charlotte, and a dozen friends in the courtroom.
Jones appointed Bill Morrison to represent Addam Swapp and Fred Metos to defend Singer. The judge appointed Bruce Savage for Jonathan Swapp, but Jonathan Swapp objected. "I have a problem with that," he said. "There's a conflict between myself and Mr. Savage."
Savage represented Jonathan Swapp during federal court proceedings in which he was convicted of shooting at federal agents. Jones said Savage therefore was the only alternative for a court-appointed attorney other than Summit County's regular legal defender.
"I want Mr. (Charles) Spafford," said Jonathan Swapp. Spafford then stood before the judge and agreed to be the counsel, saying, "We've spoken to Mr. Swapp and we're committed to his cause." The judge approved the change in counsel. It was not clear, however, whether Spafford would be paid by Summit County or by his client.
The three are charged with the death of House, who was gunned down the morning of Jan. 28 on the Singer property in Marion, Summit County, following a 13-day standoff with law enforcement officials that began with the bombing of the Kamas LDS Stake Center.
House, a dog handler for the Utah Department of Corrections, was attempting to release his German shepherd, which was supposed to capture the Swapp brothers, who had left the Singer home to feed goats.
According to federal court testimony, Singer, firing from his bedroom window, shot the round that struck House in the torso.
Prosecutor Creighton Horton of the attorney general's office filed a motion with Jones to have further proceedings heard in Salt Lake County, where the defendants are jailed. Jones said he will grant the motion only if each defendant and his attorney agrees to it.
The preliminary hearing, which is to determine if there is probable cause to support the allegations, will likely be postponed because of Jonathan Swapp's change in attorneys.
If at the preliminary hearing the judge finds that probable cause exists, the defendant will be bound over to 3rd District Court for trial. If convicted, the Swapp brothers and Singer could face prison time above and beyond what they face as a result of their convictions on several federal offenses.
Addam Swapp was sentenced earlier this month in federal court to 15 years for bombing the stake center and shooting at federal agents. Jonathan Swapp and Singer were sentenced to 10 years for shooting at federal agents.
Prosecutors said the bombing was meant to symbolize the destruction of church and state and to spark a violent confrontation with authorities that was supposed to lead to the return of the clan's slain patriarch John Singer.
Adkins said investigators were still trying to piece together what happened on the eve of the accused killers' arraignment.
"The church was not really damaged, but a plywood door, apparently being used by workmen, had been forced," he said. "The investigation has indicated there was some evidence that there may have been efforts to set a fire."
Mormon Church spokesman Don LeFevre said crews have been working to rebuild the chapel since January and expect to have it completed by year's end.