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Timmy Brent Olsen

PROVO — Attorneys are doing more research into a witness for a murder trial, wanting to avoid any conflicts that might jeopardize the case.

Attorneys for Timmy Brent Olsen and Christopher Jeppson — each charged with murder for the death of 15-year-old Kiplyn Davis — appeared in 4th District Court briefly Monday afternoon to let Judge Lynn Davis know they were checking on one of the state's witness.

There was concern that an attorney in the office of Dana Facemyer, Olsen's attorney, might have represented the female witness during a previous divorce case.

That would mean Facemyer might be privy to information that could used to impeach her on the stand, and negate her right of an attorney-client privilege.

Olsen and Jeppson were classmates of Davis, who disappeared from Spanish Fork High School in 1995 and is presumed dead.

They have since been charged with her first-degree felony murder in 4th District Court, after being convicted in federal court on perjury charges for lying to federal officials about Davis' disappearance.

Olsen is serving a 12 1/2-year sentence in federal prison.

Facemyer said that the two women had the same spelling of their last names and the first names, though very similar, differ in a few letters.

"On face today, it looks like it is not the same individual," Facemyer said. "It's a different spelling, different birthday, but just for caution's sake, we'll continue the investigation to make that extra perfect knowledge on this."

Mariane O'Bryant, deputy Utah County attorney, said they had run one test and would be running a second test to ensure that there are two different women.

The name issue should be decided by the end of the business day today. If the women turn out to be the same person, it is possible Facemyer may have to recuse himself as Olsen's attorney so as to not taint the proceedings.

The men are scheduled to begin an eight-day preliminary hearing in January.

E-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com