A Utah State Prison inmate serving two life sentences for the shooting last summer of a Salt Lake couple had a third consecutive life sentence added to his prison time Tuesday in 2nd District Court.
Russell M. Anderson, 34, was sentenced to five years to life in prison in the shooting death and robbery nearly a year ago of Frank R. Boulton, 38, Bountiful.Anderson pleaded guilty and mentally ill to the first-degree murder charge, the same plea he entered in April in 3rd District Court in the July 1987 shooting deaths of Norman B. and Janet Armstrong in Salt Lake.
Third District Judge Leonard Russon sentenced Anderson June 14 to two consecutive five-year-to-life prison sentences in the Armstrong shootings and 2nd District Judge Rodney S. Page concurred in Russon's finding that Anderson, who is mentally retarded, belongs in the state prison and not the Utah State Hospital in Provo.
Anderson's plea of guilty and mentally ill gave the judges the option of either putting him in prison or the state hospital, based on a mental evaluation of Anderson by a team of psychologists.
Russon ruled Anderson belongs in prison because he is mentally retarded, not mentally ill, thus a term in the state hospital would not do him any good because he is not treatable or curable.
Defense attorneys in both courts argued for confinement or treatment in the state hospital and asked for concurrent instead of consecutive prison terms.
At Tuesday's sentencing, Page said he has reviewed Russon's findings on Anderson's mental capability and concurs, adopting it as his finding.
Page noted that Boulton's death, although separate and unrelated to the killings of the Armstrongs, was callous. The judge ordered Anderson to serve his sentence consecutively to those imposed by Russon.
But he backed away from adding an additional five-year for using a firearm in the crime, which the prosecution requested. The judge said three five-to-life sentences are sufficient and will keep Anderson in prison for a long time.
Anderson expressed remorse during the sentencing hearing, saying he wants to apologize to the families of the victims for the pain and trouble he caused. Page said he appreciates his feeling "but it doesn't go very far in healing the wound you've caused."
Anderson admitted killing the Armstrongs while target shooting last summer near the I-80 overpass at 60th West. Their bodies, riddled with numerous bullet holes, were found July 22.
Boulton was shot three times, twice in the head and once in the back, the night of Aug. 28 and robbed of about $100 he had after cashing his paycheck from Deseret Industries.
His body was found in a ballfield next to a church parking lot at 2285 S. Second West, in Bountiful, not far from his home at 2436 S. Orchard. Drive. Anderson, who lived at 2122 S. Orchard Drive, had known Boulton and the Armstrongs for several years, according to police.
Anderson was arrested by Bountiful police about a month after the Boulton shooting. Ballistics tests determined that both Boulton and the Armstrongs had been killed with the same .22-caliber pistol, which police found in a dresser in Anderson's bedroom.