John Timothy Singer told federal agents he was prepared to protect Addam Swapp from the same fate that befell his father, John Singer, nine years earlier.
Three hours after State Corrections Officer Lt. Fred House was shot to death last January, agents tape recorded an interview with Singer without telling him that House had been killed.An edited version of that tape was played Friday for jurors in the second-degree murder trial for Singer, 22, Swapp, 27, and his brother, Jonathan Swapp, 21.
"I was prepared to defend Addam because I believe my dad was murdered and what Addam and the Lord was bringing out to show forth that he was murdered," John Timothy Singer told the agents. Lawmen gunned down John Singer - a religious fundamentalist - in January 1979 outside the Singer property in Marion after Singer allegedly pointed a gun at them.
So when House and another officer released their dogs the morning of Jan. 28 to subdue the Swapp brothers, who had exited the Singer home in Marion to milk the goats, Singer opened fire.
"I was sitting in the window . . . and I looked down and (the Bates) door is opened and these dogs are running up the path at Addam and Jon . . . I took a (.30-caliber) carbine . . . aimed it down at the dogs and started shooting because they were coming to attack Addam and Jon."
Apparently unbeknownst to Singer, House was struck and killed almost instantly by one of those shots, prosecutors allege.
Singer said that after he began firing, he heard two or three shots fired from the Bates home, west of the Singer home. He later told agents he thought the first shots were fired by law enforcement.
Though realizing there were probably police officers inside the Bates residence, Singer maintained, "I wasn't aiming at officers. I was aiming at their dogs."
When interrogators asked him, "What if you learned that you did kill an officer?" Singer replied, "Did I? I don't think I did. No."
Killing an officer "would make me feel pretty lousy," Singer said in the interrogation.
After ceasing fire, Singer observed Addam, with apparent bullet wounds to his chest and arm, come stumbling into the residence. Addam, whom prosecutors say was shot after he pointed his rifle toward officers, then exited the Singer home and surrendered.
"I tell you it (was) just sickening . . . It's the same feeling I got when my dad got shot," Singer told the agents.
Singer described the scene inside the residence following the shooting as "hysterical" and believed officers were "gonna come up and kill us off."
"We were all in shock . . . everybody was just frantic. Heidi and Charlotte (Addam's wives) were just bawling real bad," Singer said in the taped interview.
Earlier Friday afternoon, the jury was shown a video a Summit County deputy sheriff taped from about 500 yards away from the Singer home. Though it's difficult to see any details on the tape, at least 12 shots could be heard.
A lawman can also be heard to say, "They must have seen them in the green (Bates) house."
Singer's defense attorney, Fred Metos, wants prosecutors to strike that statement from the tape because it leads the listener to believe that Singer saw someone inside the Bates home.
Metos is arguing that Singer saw no one inside the house.
The tape also contains violent and profane language used by law officers who were near the video camera after they learned that House had been shot. That portion of the tape, which Jonathan Swapp's defense attorney wanted played for the jury, was edited because of its irrelevance to the actual shooting, 3rd District Judge Michael R. Murphy ruled.
Jurors were also shown an FBI surveillance tape that shows the Swapp brothers walking from the Singer house to the goat pen. The tape ends shortly thereafter because, an agent testified, "the tape ran out."
A West Valley gunsmith testified Friday that he sold Singer a .30-caliber carbine and 100 rounds of military ammunition a few weeks before the Jan. 16 bombing of the LDS stake center in Marion, which sparked a 13-day standoff, the conclusion of which ended in House's death.
The state is expected to conclude its case Tuesday afternoon after calling a ballistics expert to testify as to which gun fired which bullet.
Prior to testimony Tuesday, the judge will entertain defense motions to dismiss or reduce the charges and a request to have the jury visit the Singer property and listen to the sounds that law enforcement bombarded at the holed-up family last January.