Convicted child molester Newton Estes has made another plea to Utah Supreme Court justices to be released from prison while he appeals his sentence.
Estes, acting as his own attorney, submitted documents to the court Monday arguing that the attorney representing him at the time he pleaded guilty was incompetent. He also argued that his sentence is excessive, that he had no opportunity to rebut statements made during his sentencing hearing and that he needs access to a law library in prison.He also submitted a letter from his daughter vouching for his character.
State prosecutors filed documents countering the claims. Among other things, prosecutors said Estes was not promised a light sentence when he agreed to plead guilty.
Estes, who attracted national attention in 1982 for slugging a U.S. Supreme Court justice to protest rulings on pornography, is serving a sentence of five years to life in the state prison.
He contends state adult probation and parole officers made false statements against him at the sentencing hearing despite promises otherwise. His request already has been denied by 2nd District Judge Douglas L Cornaby.
Monday's Supreme Court hearing was little more than a "medieval star chamber procedure," Estes wrote, saying the court should have appointed an attorney to represent him.
Estes, 63, admitted fondling and sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl who was hired to keep house for him. He also showed her nude photographs and asked her to assume the same poses.
He pleaded guilty to attempted sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, and showing pornographic material to a minor, a third-degree felony.
When he hit Justice Byron R. White in 1982, Estes said he was upset at the court's liberal stands on pornography and school desegregation.
He was convicted of assault in that case and sentenced to 10 days in jail and a $500 fine.