Cache County prosecutors will not seek the death penalty for a Logan man accused of killing his infant son in August 1986.
In a pretrial hearing Friday, deputy Cache County attorney James Jenkins told 3rd District Judge Pat Brian that the death penalty is not going to be an issue in the first-degree murder trial of Steven Ray James, which begins May 1.Jenkins and defense attorney Robert Gutke would not discuss with reporters the reason the state would not seek the death penalty. Brian, short of a gag order, has advised attorneys not to "say anything to impact or prejudice the trial."
James is charged in the death of his 3-month-old son, Steven Roy James. The father told police the baby had been kidnapped on Aug. 26, 1986. The body was found by duck hunters west of Logan on Oct. 11, 1986. Physical evidence was linked to the father, who was arrested Oct. 23, 1986. James, who was present for Friday's hearing, was taken back to the Cache County Jail, where he remains in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Trial was originally set to take place in Logan but was moved to Ogden because of adverse publicity and community feelings. Scheduling problems at the Ogden courthouse, however, forced the case to be moved to Salt Lake City.