The man convicted of firing the fatal shot that killed a Utah Corrections officer 18 years ago during a notorious standoff in Marion, Utah, is scheduled to be released from prison today.

John Timothy Singer will now return to Utah where he will begin his parole.

Singer was convicted on both federal and state charges following a 13-day siege at the compound of the Singer-Swapp family in 1988. Singer shot and killed Lt. Fred House, a K9 handler trying to help end the siege.

After serving time in federal prison, Singer began serving his sentence on a state manslaughter conviction, a second-degree felony, in 1996. His release today comes just one day shy of the 10-year anniversary of when his sentence began for the Utah conviction.

Singer served the final few years of his state sentence at a federal prison in California.

Normal procedure calls for a released inmate to report immediately to their parole agent that same day. Officials at the Utah Department of Corrections said Singer's out-of-state circumstances would be taken into consideration in this matter.

It is also traditional procedure for a parolee returning to Utah to first be returned to the prison and be released from that facility. But in this case, prison officials say it's best if Singer does not step foot in the prison, located just across the street from the training facility named after House.

About 25 officers who were part of the Singer-Swapp standoff still work at the state Department of Corrections.

The roots for the siege at Marion were actually planted in 1979 when polygamous clan leader John Singer was shot and killed by officers trying to serve a warrant. Law enforcers say Singer pulled a gun. But family members note he was shot in the back.

Nine years later, on Jan. 16, 1988, John Timothy Singer's brother-in-law, Addam Swapp, bombed the Kamas LDS Stake Center. The church bombing was reportedly an attempt to provoke a violent confrontation that would lead to the elder Singer's resurrection.

The ensuing 13-day standoff with law enforcement culminated when the wheelchair-bound John Timothy Singer saw police dogs entering the property and believed they were after Swapp. He randomly fired off 10 rounds from a .30-caliber rifle. One of those rounds hit House, piercing his bulletproof vest and killing him.

Swapp was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He is serving his sentence in Arizona. Last month, Swapp wrote a letter of apology for his role in the incident which was published in the Park Record newspaper in Park City.

The matriarch of the clan, Vickie Singer, served more than three years in federal prison for her role in orchestrating the event.

As part of the conditions of his parole, John Timothy Singer will not be allowed to leave Utah without permission from Adult Probation and Parole, he is to have no contact with the House family and he may not reside or affiliate with Swapp.


Contributing: Ben Winslow

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com