A 3rd District judge postponed until next Thursday sentencing for three members of the Singer-Swapp family who were convicted of killing a state Corrections officer last Jan. 28.
During a hearing Thursday, each of the defendants addressed the court on his own behalf. Addam Swapp called upon people to repent."I want to do what is right," said Judge Michael R. Murphy, indicating he was confused about how his sentence might be affected by federal sentences two of the defendants received in U.S. District Court last summer.
In Coalville last month, a jury convicted Swapp and his brother-in-law, John Timothy Singer, of manslaughter. Addam's brother, Jonathan Swapp, was found guilty of negligent homicide.
The three, originally charged with second-degree murder, were found criminally liable in the death of Lt. Fred House, who was shot during an arrest attempt at the Singer property in Marion, Summit County, following a 13-day standoff that began Jan. 16 when Addam bombed the nearby LDS chapel.
During a sentencing hearing Thursday, Addam told the court that he is sympathetic to Mrs. House, but maintained, as he did at trial, that the shooting death was an accident and that he and his family never intended to kill anyone.
He also reiterated his belief that John Singer, the father of Addam's wives, Heidi and Charlotte, was killed unjustly and that the people responsible "have never been brought to justice.
"And yet here we are."
Then, without going into any detail, Addam stated, "I also just want to call this people to repentance, as I have so been directed by the Lord."
Prosecutor Creighton Horton, of the attorney general's office, asked Murphy to sentence all the defendants to Utah State Prison terms that would run consecutively with the federal sentences, saying that anything less would make the death of House meaningless.
Addam, especially, deserves a consecutive sentence, Horton said.
"Addam Swapp, more than anyone, is responsible for the death of Fred House, even though he didn't pull the trigger."
Horton argued that Swapp still has not accepted responsibility for his actions. "Even today he says it was an accident. If he doesn't see by now his responsibility, he probably never will."
Singer's attorney asked the judge to sentence his client to concurrent terms because the federal sentences are already significant.
"To say we have to warehouse Mr. Singer for a long period of time simply does not make a lot sense," said Fred Metos, arguing his client is not a danger to society and pointing out that Singer has no prior criminal record.
Singer told Murphy, "I am not a killer. I did not intend to kill anyone." Singer said he was shooting at dogs that he thought were going to harm the Swapp brothers.
The young Singer also stated he knows what it's like to be without a father. "I've been without one for 10 years," said Singer, referring to John Singer, who was shot to death by police officers Jan. 18, 1979, after allegedly pointing a gun at them.
Jonathan's attorney, Earl Spafford, asked the judge to give Jonathan credit for time served. Jonathan faces only a year in prison on the negligent homicide conviction and he has been in jail for a year.
But prosecutors argued that the defendants are already being given federal credit for time served.