Karl Otterson

The Utah Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a man who tried to hire a hit man to kill a Utah County prosecutor.

In ruling issued Thursday, the appeals court upheld the conviction of Karl Otterson on one count of solicitation to commit aggravated murder.

According to the ruling, Otterson sought to hire a hit man to kill deputy Utah County attorney David Sturgill in 2005 from the Utah County Jail, where he was being held on charges of sexual abuse of a child.

While meeting with an undercover officer posing as a hit man in the jail's visitor center, Otterson reportedly offered $1,000 upfront and another $4,500 after Otterson was out of jail to "take care of Dave Sturgill."

Otterson was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to serve five years to life in prison. In his appeal, Otterson claimed that during the trial, errors were made that prejudiced the jury against him.

In its ruling Thursday, the court found that if errors were made at trial, they were harmless and did not prejudice the jury in light of the evidence the prosecution presented at trial.

E-mail: gfattah@desnews.com