A Willard man has been sentenced to serve one to 15 years in prison for the shooting death of his wife in October 1987.
Ron Wells, 45, was sentenced by 1st District Judge Gordon Low. Wells was convicted of manslaughter during a trial in August.Wells later received a letter from one of the jurors, which said the juror hoped Wells wouldn't have to do "hard" time, which defense attorney Marty Custen said meant prison time.
"There is no question that he did a dark deed," Custen said. "But he has lived in his own private hell, and that is between him and his maker. A piece of himis gone, and he did it."
Custen asked that Wells be given jail time rather than being sent to prison. "This isn't a case where the people of Utah are crying out for revenge. This is an opportunity to tailor the sentence to the individual case and the individual defendant.'
"Taking a life is the ultimate crime," Box Elder County Attorney Jon Bunderson countered. "The police did their duty, as prosecutor I did my duty by presenting the case to the jury. They did their duty, now you're in the spotlight," Bunderson told Low.
"Carol Wells lies stone-cold dead in the ground. We can't give her life back.The gift of life is given by something other than society," Bunderson concluded.
Low said Wells' sentence isn't a community decision.
Along with the prison sentence, Low added one-year echancement for use of a firearm. Wells also was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. He was ordered to report toBox Elder County jail on Oct. 31 for transportation to the Utah State Prison.
Carol Wells, 42, was found dead, from a bullet wound to the head, in the backyard of her residence by a son on Oct. 25, 1987. Roger Wells was found several hours later unconscious in his pickup truck. A hose had been rigged from the truck's exhaust pipe into the cab. The truck was parked about 100 yards behind the house.