A judge has denied a motion to choose jurors solely from Kamas Valley for the trial of three polygamist clan members charged with killing a lawman in a shootout with police last January.
Clan patriarch Addam Swapp, 27, his brother, Jonathan Swapp, 21, and John Timothy Singer, 22, each are charged with second-degree murder in the Jan. 28 shooting death of Corrections Lt. Fred House at their compound in the valley. All have pleaded innocent.The three appeared Thursday before 3rd District Judge Michael Murphy in the court's Coalville branch for a hearing on several motions.
Along with Singer's mother, Vickie Singer, the men were found guilty earlier this year of federal charges related to the Jan. 16 bombing of a Mormon chapel that triggered a 13-day standoff between the clan and 100 lawmen.
Singer's attorney, Fred Metos, said his client wanted a "jury of his peers" chosen from residents of the valley, not by random selection. Clan members have maintained they were harassed for years by police and their rural neighbors.
Metos, however, said he disagreed with Singer. "This is ridiculous. We may as well plead guilty," he said.
Murphy said earlier he would choose a pool of up to 250 jurors, and said Thursday he planned to begin distributing questionnaires to them on Nov. 25 with selection tentatively set to begin Nov. 29.