The trial of an Arizona prison inmate who has chosen to defend himself against charges of rape, sodomy and aggravated kidnapping in the 1985 abduction of a North Salt Lake girl has been delayed until April 7.
William E. Denning, 31, is charged with three first-degree felonies in the 1985 kidnapping and sexual assault of the girl, who was 10 years old at the time.On Tuesday, Denning told 2nd District Judge Douglas L Cornaby he wishes to defend himself in the trial, with court-appointed defense attorney Steve Vanderlinden acting as co-counsel.
A week ago Denning told the judge he wanted Vanderlinden off the case and another attorney appointed, specifying a private defense attorney. Cornaby told Denning he could have any of the county's three public defenders and Denning chose to keep Vanderlinden.
The original trial date of March 15 was changed so a mental evaluation of Denning can be completed. Denning agreed to supply a hair sample requested by prosecutor Brian Namba, but resisted a motion that he appear at his trial cleanshaven.
Denning agreed to shave for a mug shot, to be taken, but can regrow his beard for the trial, the judge ruled.
According to court records, the 10-year-old victim was abducted from her North Salt Lake home on Aug. 5, 1985, and taken into the foothills above the city, where she was assaulted.
Denning made a statement about the incident late in 1988 to a Boulder, Nev., police officer, according to court records, who forwarded the information to Davis County. The girl picked Denning out of a photo lineup and the three first-degree felony charges, which carry a prison term of five years to life, were filed.
Denning is serving a life term in prison in Arizona, according to court records, and faces a 30-year term in Nevada after that.