Attorneys in the trial of Clarence Leake, charged with taking hostages in the Washington Temple, said late Friday that they expect to call LDS Church authorities to establish or refute that a devout Mormon might believe that 14 ancient prophets could have been resurrected.
Leake's attorneys attempted, at his insistence, on June 9 to serve subpoenas at the temple to Moroni and 13 other ancient Mormon prophets. According to process server Dorothy Bernier, temple official Arnold Roberts told her the prophets were not there to be served.Judge Peter J. Messittes refused to allow Bernier to comment on anything Roberts may have told her about why the prophets were not available to be subpoenaed. Messittes ruled that such testimony would be hearsay.
Defense attorney Carol Freeman then asked permission to call Roberts to the stand next week to explain why under LDS teaching the early prophets were not available to be asked to testify in court.
Assistant State's Attorney John McCarthy told the Deseret News after the session that he plans to call rebuttal witnesses who would testify that indeed a Mormon might believe, as in Alma 40:23 of the Book of Mormon, "the soul may be restored to the body."
The point may be a key to determining if Leake was criminally responsible when he took over the Washington Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October 1986, or paranoid with delusions of grandeur.
The state rested its case Friday that Leake was sane when he took over the temple. McCarthy called three witnesses, the two men taken hostage, Jose A. Mendez, 21, and Carl Olson, 65, and Montgomery County detective Roger Thompson, a hostage-situation specialist who talked to Leake in the temple for 12 hours.
The chief piece of evidence the prosecutor presented was a six-hour video tape of the hostage standoff inside the temple's Solemn Assembly Room. The tape showed Leake and Mendez barricaded behind one of the 12 lecterns at one end of the room. Leake and his prisoner sat on a white-upholstered bench with a bag of food and soft drinks, a .44-caliber revolver, a .22 automatic, binoculars, 100 rounds of ammunition and an FM radio Leake used to listen to the World Series.
Thompson continually offered Leake food and ice water, finally sending out for two egg biscuits from a nearby restaurant, but Leake would not rise to that bait. It turned out later that Leake was well-supplied with provisions.
Finally, about 8:30 a.m. Oct. 23, Leake raised his hands, walked across the room and surrendered.
Thompson testified that Leake appeared normal to him for a hostage-taker. A veteran of more than 30 such situations, Thompson said Leake's actions during the siege were common to such situations.
Leake's court-appointed public defenders said they might put Leake himself on the stand next week.