John Timothy Singer acknowledged firing out his bedroom window during the shoot-out Jan. 28 that left a state corrections officer dead, a detective said Friday.
In a taped interview the day of the shoot-out between polygamist clan membersand police, Singer said he was firing at police dogs and did not intend to harm anyone, said Ronald Miller, a criminal investigator for the Utah attorney general's office."He indicated that he fired a .30-caliber carbine out his bedroom window at some dogs," he said. "I believe he indicated about 10 shots."
Miller's testimony came in the second day of a preliminary hearing to determine if Singer, his brother-in-law Addam Swapp and Swapp's brother Jonathan Swapp will be tried on second-degree murder charges in the death of state Corrections Lt. Fred House.
House died in the shoot-out that ended the 13-day standoff. The siege was triggered by the bombing on Jan. 16 by clan leader Addam Swapp of an LDS chapel in Marion, Summit County, about a mile from the clan's rural compound.
Under cross-examination, Miller said Singer appeared not to know that House had been shot. When Singer was asked how he would feel if he had hit someone, "He said, `Did I?' or words to that effect," Miller said.
"Do you recall him saying, `I'd rather go to prison than to take another man's life?' " asked Singer's attorney Fred Metos.
"I believe he said words to that effect," Miller said. Also on Friday, Ogden Kraut, a friend of the Singer-Swapp family, said that when he visited the compound during the siege Addam Swapp discussed a revelation he received "about some big event at the ranch."
"It would be a means of starting a cleansing of state and church and nation," Kraut said. But, under cross-examination, Kraut said Swapp indicated that any violence against authorities would be an act of God and not his own doing.
Catherine Baker, a state forensic expert, testified she discovered a blood-encrusted bullet on the floor of a house west of the Singer home. House was shot as he stood in the doorway of that building urging a reluctant police dog to attack the Swapp brothers as they walked toward the clan's main log residence.
Evidence during an earlier federal trial showed the fatal bullet was fired by the wheelchair-bound Singer from a Plainfield .30-caliber carbine.
Baker said tests showed the .30-caliber bullet was covered with type O blood, acknowledging under cross-examination that type O is the most common blood type. Baker said she also found several blood-stained articles of clothing in a hallway leading to the kitchen, including a Navy blue T-shirt covered with type O blood.
FBI ballistics expert Richard Crum testified earlier Friday that the bullet came from a .30-caliber Plainfield carbine. And a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent said that weapon was one of two carbines he seized from Singer's bedroom after the shoot-out.
ATF Agent Larry Meadows said 23 weapons were found at the compound following the shoot-out. Among them was a Springfield .30-06 rifle lying in the snow north of the Singer home and another .30-caliber carbine in Singer's bedroom.
Meadows said all three weapons were loaded. The other weapons, mostly stockpiled in Singer's bedroom, included assorted rifles, revolvers and shotguns, he said.
Also, FBI Agent Donald Roberts recounted finding, almost three months after the incident, a .30-caliber bullet embedded in the jacket he wore on the morning of the shoot-out. Roberts said he was observing the Swapp brothers from another house when he heard a shot, felt something strike him and fell off his chair.
"I thought I'd been shot," he said, but concluded he had been struck with a piece of wood when the bullet pierced the wall next to him. He found the bullet when he passed the jacket through a metal detector during the clan's federal trial.
Crum said that bullet also was fired from the Plainfield carbine.
Addam Swapp, 27, Jonathan Swapp, 21, and Singer, 22, all have pleaded not guilty. The three, along with clan matriarch Vickie Singer, 45, were convicted in federal court in May of a variety of charges related to the bombing of the Kamas Stake Center and the subsequent standoff with 100 officers.
Addam Swapp was sentenced to 15 years in prison, Mrs. Singer to five years and Jonathan Swapp and John Timothy Singer to 10-year terms.
The preliminary hearing before 3rd Circuit Judge Maurice Jones is expected to conclude on Monday.