A state judge has decided a hearing is needed to determine whether charges should stand against two Utah men accused of aiding Mark Hopkinson in arranging the murder of Jeffrey Green in 1979.
Attorneys for Alvin Russell III, 36, and Todd Hall, 46, both of Salt Lake City, have argued that the conspiracy and aiding and abetting first-degree murder charges should be dismissed because the men had been given immunity for testimony they gave previously in the case.Retired District Judge Kenneth Hamm, who took over the case after Uinta County Judge John Troughton removed himself, has decided to hold an evidentiary hearing before he rules on defense motions.
Hamm has given attorneys in the case until Feb. 21 to suggest dates for the hearing.
Hopkinson, who has been on death row in the Wyoming State Penitentiary for nearly 10 years, is continuing his appeals in federal court.
Hopkinson, 39, was sentenced to die for arranging the torture murder of Green, a former associate who was scheduled to testify before a Uinta County grand jury about the 1977 bombing deaths of Evanston lawyer Vincent Vehar, his wife and one of his sons.
The two men Hopkinson is believed to have hired to kill Green have never been named or arrested by investigators. Russell and Hall are accused of providing getaway vehicles used by the killers.