After the shootout between police and a polygamous family at Marion, Summit County, investigators said John Timothy Singer spoke "very openly, very freely" about events at his family's farm house.Investigators testified before U.S. District Judge Bruce S. Jenkins on Thursday that Singer answered all questions and submitted to a 11/2-hour taped interview. The testimony came in the morning before the hearing was expected to be closed to the public and the media.
Singer's attorney, G. Fred Metos, is attempting to have statements his client made to police suppressed as inadmissible evidence, claiming such factors as sleep deprivation and psychological stress may have pressured him into making the comments.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Schwendiman has said the young wheelchair-bound man is a chief suspect in the fatal shooting of Corrections officer Fred House.
Two special agents of the U.S Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms, Allan D. Galyan and Felix G. Garcia, testified that Singer talked openly about events surrounding the standoff as they transported him to the U.S. marshal's office in Salt Lake City after the siege ended Jan. 28.
"I read the rights to him right off the form. I had the form in front of him and asked him to read along," Galyan said.
He made certain Singer understood his rights to remain silent and to have a lawyer present and that Singer knew anything he said could be used against him.
Singer signed the document, as did both agents.
After a few moments of silence, Garcia said it had been a tough time for him too, and he was anxious to get back to his family in Texas. Singer was interested that Garcia was from Texas and began talking with him.
They developed a rapport. At 10:12 a.m., according to Galyan, Singer said, "Maybe he'd tell us the whole story." After that, he answered Garcia's questions.
"He very casually answered all the questions that were asked to him . . . he was calm, in control," Galyan said. He said Singer seemed to be normal and not retarded.