Ann House, the widow of slain Corrections Lt. Fred House, has been concerned that her husband's death would be forgotten.
Third District Judge Michael R. Murphy made sure that didn't happen Thursday when he ruled - nearly one year after House was gunned down - that the three men who killed the officer must serve their homicide sentences after they have served their other sentences.Murphy could have ordered that the sentences for House's death run concurrent with federal sentences handed down last summer to Addam Swapp, John Timothy Singer and Jonathan Swapp. But he didn't.
"To run this court's sentences concurrent with the federal sentences would require this court to disregard the death of Officer House," said Murphy in his sentencing decision Thursday morning.
Addam, 27, and Singer, 22 - whom a jury last month found guilty of manslaughter - must begin serving a one-to-15 year sentence in the Utah State Prison upon completion of their sentences in federal prison.
And Jonathan Swapp, 22, who was found guilty of negligent homicide, must begin his term of up to one year in the Salt Lake County Jail after he completes his federal sentence.
The sentence comes as some relief to the family of the fallen officer. Carlos Whiting, Ann House's father, said his daughter, who didn't attend Thursday's proceedings because of emotional strain, was concerned that people would forget Fred House.
"She wants people to remember him as a very brave, courageous man who had much to contribute to Utah," Whiting said. "She didn't want (his death) to be made to look like an accident."
Heidi Swapp, one of Addam's wives, refused to comment about the sentences but offered, "You reporters are all a bunch of puppets."
House was shot the morning of Jan. 28, 1988, on the Singer property in Marion, Summit County, while trying to arrest the Swapp brothers. The arrest attempt came on the 13th day of the Singer-Swapp standoff after Addam's bombing of the nearby LDS chapel.
In federal court, Addam was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years for the bombing and assault upon federal officers. Jonathan Swapp and Singer were given 10-year minimum federal sentences for assault.
Murphy said the three men "acted as anarchists."
He said their "armed resistance . . . is a far cry from non-violent civil disobedience and passive resistance. Thoreau, Gandhi and Martin Luther King practiced non-violent civil disobedience and passive resistance in protesting alleged unfair laws, regulations and practices. They did not, however, engage in armed conflict and were willing to accept the legal consequences for their conduct.
"These defendants bore arms in support of their views and to avoid the consequences of Addam Swapp's conduct. In doing so, the jury found they caused the death of Officer House."
"This court has been presented with no credible information that, if given the opportunity, they would not again engage in anarchy."
Murphy said the defendants, though expressing remorse for House's death, have refused to accept responsibility for their actions.
The judge criticized the defendants' apparent failure to accept the jury's verdicts.
"The verdicts . . . are deserving of respect by all," Murphy said, "and any derision directed at the verdicts reflects a lack of respect for law and order, which is exactly the attitude of those who brought about the death of Officer House."