John Timothy Singer saw no lawmen the morning of Jan. 28 during the shoot-out at his family's home in Marion, Summit County, his tape recorded voice insisted Wednesday.
The 21-year-old man's recorded confession, made the day of the shoot-out, was played to the court during the trial of the Singer and Swapp defendants. U.S. District Chief Judge Bruce S. Jenkins held his earphones to a microphone on his desk so that all spectators could hear the tape.Prosecutors say that during the shooting Singer fired rounds that killed Corrections officer Lt. Fred House and hit the protective vest of an FBI agent. The shots went through the door of the Bates house, where agents and
state officers were stationed along with two police dogs.
Agents repeatedly questioned Singer about what he saw at the time of the shooting. Just as often he insisted that all he saw were the open door of the Bates house and the police dogs racing toward Addam and Jonathan Swapp. When Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Agent Felix Garcia suggested he may have shot an officer, Singer said, "Did I?" then said he did not believe he did. He said he didn't even think he hit one of the police dogs.
Singer conceded that he presumed officers must have been in that house to release the dogs and to fire shots that wounded Addam Swapp. He said, "A big old tree (was) in front of me," partly blocking his view. He said he saw no one else shoot than himself and said the women in the Singer house were not armed.
Asked why he was on guard with a rifle and pistol when the Swapp brothers went out to milk a goat, he replied, " `Cause I knew that they were trying to take Addam," since arrest warrants had been issued against him.
"I was prepared to defend Addam, because I believe my dad was murdered and the Lord was bringing out (events) to show forth that Dad was murdered."
He said he did not know whether he heard officers shoot at Addam Swapp first or noticed the police dogs first.
"I took a .30 (caliber) carbine, aimed it down at the dogs and started shootin' because they were coming at Addam and Jon."
Addam Swapp, injured, came into the house and Singer threw his gun down and rolled himself in his wheelchair to the living room.
"I did see blood all over the place," he said.
He said everybody was screaming and yelling and that Jonathan gave Addam a blessing before Addam went back out to surrender.
Addam Swapp said he had to surrender and get to a hospital and thought he was bleeding internally.
"Jon and all of us were in shock," Singer said.
Apparently unaware that he may havekilled an officer, he said simply that he trusted in the Lord. He added, "I was fightin' for somethin' I believe in. You've got to understand my Dad's been murdered; that's my belief."
He emphasized that he did not want to kill anybody. If he had wanted to shoot an officer he could have done that long before. He said the Lord says that vengeance is the Lord's.
Besides, "Our guns compared to their guns were pea shooters."
At one point, Singer's recorded voice said, "I would die for the Lord, instead of denying him." When agents came into the yard in their armored personnel carriers which he called their "tankmobiles" he thought they were going to push down the house and "kill us all."
Agents demanded that the family come out and Singer said they needed some time to get the children dressed.
Meanwhile, "Everybody was frantic. Heidi and Charlotte (his sisters and Addam's wives) were just bawlin' real bad."
Singer also said, when asked if he expected his father, John Singer, to be resurrected, that he thought his father would return to "fulfill his mission."
He said, "Boy, I tell you it would have been a sight to see," when John Singer came through the door."