Addam Swapp will finally get to talk to CBS.
And it didn't even take a court order.What it took, though, were six attorneys and one judge, who used two hearings and several hours of court and out-of-court time to discuss it.
At issue was whether the court should compel or advise Salt Lake County Sheriff Pete Hayward to allow CBS's 60 Minutes to interview Swapp, who, along with his younger brother, Jonathan Swapp, and his brother-in-law, John Timothy Singer, are charged with second-degree murder.
Swapp wants to be interviewed but Hayward, knowing a trial was pending, contacted the attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the case.
The attorney general's office advised Hayward not to allow the interview because it might impinge on the defendants' right to a fair trial and the state didn't want to be blamed if that occurred, said prosecutor Creighton Horton.
After a brief hearing last Tuesday in Summit County and a hearing Friday morning in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County Attorney David Yocom, representing Hayward, announced to 3rd Circuit Judge Maurice Jones Friday afternoon that everyone had come to an agreement and a court order wouldn't be needed after all.
So Jones - who said earlier he wasn't inclined to order the sheriff to do anything anyway - used a few moments to counsel Addam Swapp.
"I don't think you should (talk to the press)," said Jones to Swapp, seated in the jury box directly across the room from the bench. "It is my opinion, and you might not want to place any weight on it, but any published material will do more damage than good.
"If you choose to make statements . . . that can be construed as an admission or confession, I can guarantee the state would use it against you."
The judge, realizing that Swapp is more than likely not going to follow the advice, admonished him not to do any interviews without an attorney present.
"I'd feel bad if, putting it in the modern vernacular, you screwed up," said Jones.
Attorney Randy Dryer, representing CBS, assured Jones that 60 Minutes had no intention of discussing the facts or evidence surrounding the charges.
According to Yocom, 60 Minutes will conduct two, three-hour interviews with Swapp. The time and place will be arranged by the sheriff. Yocom also pointed out that any further requests by Swapp for interviews may be denied and that the state, while not condoning the interviews, can use whatever Swapp says against him.
Swapp's attorney agreed with the arrangement as did Jonathan's and Singer's attorneys.
Horton also agreed as did Dryer.
Meanwhile, Jones will rule sometime Monday on motion by the state asking the judge to restrict attorneys and investigators from discussing the case publicly.
Horton argued that several leaks to the press during federal cases against the defendants caused the judge to complain.
Attorneys for the defendants and the media, however, said guidelines for proper disclosure already exist and that no evidence exists that the defendants' fair trial rights are in danger.
The Swapp brothers and Singer are charged with killing state Corrections Lt. Fred House, who was gunned down Jan. 28 at the Singer property in Marion at the conclusion of a 13-day standoff that began with the bombing of the LDS stake center a mile away.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 20 before Jones.
The three, along with matriarch Vickie Singer, were convicted in July of federal bombing and assault offenses.