The sentencing of a man convicted of murder in last year's fatal shooting at a Salt Lake truck stop was delayed Monday morning after the defendant for some reason was not transported from the jail.
The court hearing had been set for 9 a.m. in 3rd District Court before Judge Paul Maughan.
Roger Allen Malcolm, 51, was convicted in June for the slaying of security guard Verne Jenkins at the Sapp Brothers truck stop at 1953 California Ave.
Jurors found Malcolm guilty of first-degree felony murder which carries a potential 15-years-to-life sentence for killing Jenkins in a Dec. 26, 2007, confrontation inside the business.
Defense attorney Rudy Batista on Monday told the judge that Malcolm had not been brought from the Salt Lake County Jail to the Matheson Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City.
Later, Batista said he did not know if Malcolm had refused to attend his own sentencing or whether he was not transported by deputies due to some technicality. For example, if an individual does not prepare to leave the jail, including doing something like not making his bed or otherwise not getting ready to be moved, jail officials have the right to not transport that person.
Additionally, deputies who have a regular inmate transportation order can decline to move someone who has medical problems.
Prosecutor Alicia Cook asked Maughan to issue a mandatory transportation order for Malcolm's next sentencing date, which was set for Aug. 25, so this does not happen again.
Outside the courtroom, Jenkins' family members expressed dismay and frustration that they could not speak during the victim impact portion of the hearing.
Jenkins' wife, Stephanie, said she had looked forward to the sentencing as a way of putting some closure on the murder of her husband.
Nora Jenkins, the victim's mother, said one of her daughters was so emotionally overwrought Monday morning that she could not come to court and asked other relatives to speak. Now it has been delayed a week.
"All I know is I don't have a son, that's what I know," Nora Jenkins said tearfully. "I don't have a son, she doesn't have a husband (glancing toward Stephanie Jenkins) and my grandson doesn't have a father."
Jenkins' son was 3 when his father was killed, and trial testimony from co-workers recalled how a delighted Jenkins talked at length about how his child was old enough last year to really enjoy Christmas.
Jenkins, 31, was shot in the neck after prosecutors contend he was trying to escort an unruly Malcolm from the store.
Police said Malcolm refused to cooperate with Jenkins' orders, and the two began to struggle and wrestle. Jenkins was shot, and afterward, Malcolm called him a pair of expletives and sat down to wait for police to arrive.
Batista, however, has said the shooting was in self-defense and that Malcolm feared for his life thinking that Jenkins was reaching for a gun. Batista also has said that an appeal of the conviction is imminent.Police later found that Jenkins was unarmed during the altercation.
E-mail: [email protected]