A 3rd District judge on Friday said he will not suppress statements made by John Timothy Singer following the shootout that killed a state Corrections officer.
Judge Michael R. Murphy ruled that law enforcement officers sufficiently warned Singer of his rights to remain silent and to have an attorney on Jan. 28, the day Lt. Fred House was gunned down while trying to arrest Addam Swapp and his brother, Jonathan Swapp.Singer's defense attorney, Fred Metos, argued that the officers used "subtle psychological manipulation" in getting Singer to talk about his role in firing numerous shots from his bedroom window.
But Murphy disagreed. "I find there was no trickery, coercion, coaxing, psychological coaching, subterfuge or deceit in (the officers') speaking with (Singer)," he said.
Prosecutors were able to show Murphy that officers advised Singer of his rights immediately upon his arrest. During the drive to Salt Lake City, Singer talked of his own free will with the law enforcement officers, Murphy ruled.
Officers advised Singer of his rights a second time that day when they recorded a statement Singer made to them in the U.S. marshal's office.
More than 250 potential jurors will assemble in a Coalville school the day after Thanksgiving to fill out a questionnaire. Jury selection in the second-degree murder trial for Singer, 22, Addam Swapp, 27, and Jonathan Swapp, 21, is scheduled to begin the following week. The trial should begin the first part of December.
In other motions Friday, defense attorneys made it clear that their clients will not use a defense of diminished mental capacity or insanity.
Murphy asked each defendant if they understood and agreed.
"That's correct," said Addam Swapp. "I do not have a diminished capacity nor am I insane," replied Addam Swapp. His co-defendants concurred.
However, Singer's attorney gave the judge a "notice of intent" that he planned to call Dr. Elliott Landau to testify on the psychological effects that certain law enforcement tactics had on the defendants.
Law officers used flood lights and loudspeakers during the 13-day standoff at the Vickie Singer farmhouse in Marion following the bombing of the nearby Kamas LDS Stake Center in an attempt to force the family to surrender.
On the morning of Jan. 28, during an attempt to subdue and arrest the Swapp brothers with dogs, House was struck by a bullet prosecutors allege was fired by John Timothy Singer.
The Swapp brothers, by their actions that morning and throughout the standoff, created a life-threatening situation and share guilt in House's death, prosecutors allege.
For their bombing and assault convictions in a U.S. District Court trial last summer, Addam Swapp was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison; Vickie Singer was sentenced to five years; and 10-year prison terms were handed to John Timothy Singer and Jonathan Swapp.