The U.S. attorney's office has filed an appeal that could lead to the resentencing of all the Singer-Swapp defendants, assuming the Supreme Court upholds federal sentencing guidelines.
And even if they are held unconstitutional, the appeal seeks to have five years added to the sentences of Addam Swapp and Vickie Singer.If the guidelines are upheld, said U.S. Attorney Brent D. Ward, "They'd have to be resentenced, and they'd get more time under those counts."
On July 18, the entire federal court in Utah ruled that controversial and tough new sentencing guidelines are unconstitutional. On Sept. 2, U.S. District Chief Judge Bruce S. Jenkins sentenced the members of the Singer-Swapp family to prison terms.
Addam Swapp was ordered to serve 15 years in prison and five more years probation. Jonathan Swapp, Vickie Singer and John Timothy Singer received terms of 10 years in prison and five years on probation.
Vickie Singer, John Timothy Singer and Jonathan Swapp were convicted of attacking federal officers and using guns in the siege and shootout at Marion, Summit County, last January. Addam Swapp was also sentenced for blowing up the LDS stake center there.
Ward has now petitioned the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Denver, complaining, "Trial court refused to apply the sentencing guidelines promulgated under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984."
The petition says that if the Supreme Court reinstates the guidelines, the appeals court should order Jenkins to resentence the group.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Oct. 5 on the issue of the guidelines' constitutionality, "and a decision is expected sometime this term," the appeal notes.
Also, Jenkins refused to sentence Addam Swapp and Vickie Singer to mandatory five-year terms for one of their firearms convictions, that of using a bomb in a crime of violence. According to the judge, "The court defers sentencing on Count II (using the bomb) . . . on the grounds that any sentence imposed would be impermissibly cumulative."
The firearms counts were "enhancement" charges, which add a mandatory five years to sentences. Addam Swapp was convicted on three such charges and sentenced on two of them. Vickie Singer was convicted on two of these, and sentenced on only one.
Addam Swapp and Vickie Singer were sentenced to five years apiece on a separate gun charge. The appeal argues they should have received the minimum on each such count.
The appeal attacks Jenkins for saying he was deferring sentencing on the second count. It says the law leaves "no room for discretion as to whether sentences may or may not be imposed. Following conviction, trial judges must sentence according to the penalties prescribed by Congress."