Hans Benjamin Singer, ordered incarcerated because he would not testify against family members in the Singer-Swapp prosecution, is back home in Marion.
"He's just getting used to being back - he's just happy now," his sister, Charlotte Singer Swapp, said in a telephone interview Friday.Asked for the reaction of family members to having the 15-year-old home, she said, "Overjoyed."
"We didn't get to talk to him for - what? Two months? Two-and-a-half months? The only thing we could do was write letters." She said the youth was first taken to the Salt Lake County Detention Center for a week and a half, and then to a foster home.
Steven Khunhausen, the boy's lawyer, earlier had refused to confirm whether he was released, but he said the only way the boy could have been returned to his family is if one of these things occurred: if U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene determined the detention was punishment or coercive, if Benjamin testified, or if the grand jury's term expired.
In March, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld Green's ruling that Singer was in contempt of court for refusing to testify.
Reasons cited for Benjamin's refusal to testify included religious beliefs and a claimed parent-child privilege that allows him not to speak against his mother. After he was placed in detention, four of his relatives - his mother, Vickie Singer; his brother, John Timothy Singer, his brother-in-law, Addam Swapp; and Addam's brother, Jonathan Swapp - were convicted in the bombing of the LDS Kamas Stake Center in January, the 13-day standoff with officers, or the shooting end to the siege.
If the youth had testified, there would be no grounds for an appeal of the court's rulings.
"We are still prosecuting our appeal," Khunhausen said. "We'll be filing (documents) in the Supreme Court within the next two weeks."