Now that the federal government is through with the Singers and Swapps, state prosecutors are gearing up to file possible murder charges against those members of the polygamist family believed to have been responsible for the shooting death of Lt. Fred House.
Assistant Attorney General Paul Warner said his office is ready to file charges but will wait until next week."We'd like to give our (prosecutors) some time off before they dig in," said Warner, whose office has assisted the U.S. attorney's office in the case against Vickie Singer, her wheelchair bound son, John Timothy Singer, her son-in-law, Addam Swapp and Swapp's brother, Jonathan.
Prosecution witnesses in federal court testified that John Timothy Singer, firing from his west-facing bedroom window, shot House. But state prosectors have not said what charges they'll file against whom.
A bullet struck and killed House, a Utah Corrections Department official, on Jan. 28. House, a canine officer, was attempting to apprehend Swapp on the 13th day of a siege at the Singer property that began when Addam Swapp and Vickie Singer conspired to bomb the nearby Kamas LDS Stake Center.
It is possible also that murder charges could be filed against other members of the Singer-Swapp families whose actions may have led to the shootout in which House was killed and Addam Swapp injured.
Warner said charges will be filed in 3rd
Circuit Court in Coalville, Summit County.
For logistical purposes, a change of venue may be requested so the case can be tried in Salt Lake County, which is in the same judicial district as Summit County. But Warner refused to comment on whether a change of venue was being planned.
Addam Swapp and Vickie Singer already face numerous state charges that were filed last fall and after the church bombing in January.
In a complaint filed Nov. 3, 1987, Swapp is charged with two third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of assault on a peace officer, possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault and threatening to use a dangerous weapon in a fight.
Those charges arise out of an incident Oct. 29, 1987, when Summit Sheriff Fred Eley and Lt. Lou Stevens attempted to talk to Swapp about some recent acts of spray-paint vandalism perpetrated against neighbors. Swapp drew two handguns and pointed them at the officers, according to a criminal complaint. As Eley and Stevens backed away, Swapp fired one shot into the air, the complaint states, telling the officers that they had killed John Singer and threatening them "not to return to the Vickie Singer property because there would be blood shed," the complaint states.
A complaint filed Jan. 20 charges Singer and Swapp with aggravated arson, a first-degree felony, and third-degree felony counts of criminal mischief and construction or possession of an infernal machine. Those charges arise out of the explosion Jan. 16 that gutted the stake center.