The matriarch of a polygamist clan that held law officers at bay for 13 days before the siege ended in a bloody shootout with police has been turned over to federal marshals for transfer to a prison while attorneys on both sides prepare to appeal her sentence.
Vickie Singer, who pleaded for release at every stage of her federal bombing and siege trial, was removed last week from the Salt Lake County Jail for transfer to a federal prison.While Singer serves her sentence, prosecution and defense attorneys are expected to appeal her punishment to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
Her attorney contends the mandatory no-parole term imposed by U.S. District Judge Bruce S. Jenkins violates her constitutional rights by not allowing the judge to tailor the sentence to her or her crimes.
Meanwhile, the U.S. attorney's office contends that Jenkins' refusal to sentence Singer to another five-year prison term for a second conviction under the same law was not within his judicial authority.
If Singer's appeal is successful, it is unknown whether, or by how much, her sentence would be shortened. Jenkins declined comment on what the sentence would have been had he not been bound by the sentencing guidelines.
She was convicted this summer of aiding in the bombing of the Kamas LDS Stake Center, participating in the standoff between her family and law officers and of federal weapons violations stemming from the main counts.
Each weapons violation requires a fixed, five-year term.
Her son, John Timothy Singer; son-in-law, Addam Swapp; and Swapp's brother, Jonathan Swapp, were convicted of participating in the siege. The three men were convicted, but Vickie Singer was acquitted of attempted murder of FBI agents.
While asking a federal magistrate and Jenkins to release her, she repeatedly has said that she is a "woman of my word" and that her family needs her.