Jury acquits John Swallow of all charges

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  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    March 5, 2017 11:49 a.m.

    @Bob Tanner: "This is the biggest travesty of justice in Utah history…"

    How do you know it was a "travesty of justice" at all? The case against Mark Shurtleff was dropped. And now Swallow is acquitted on all charges. They didn't even include a misdemeanor. Do you believe there was jury tampering? Was the judge biased? Incompetent prosecutors?

    I've been watching these cases from the beginning. Everything about these cases has been troubling and nothing has been clear to me. I still don't know what the truth is. I'm honestly curious about what additional information you have. Please share it.

  • Dixie Independent St George, UT
    March 5, 2017 10:07 a.m.

    Remember Shawn Cowley, West Valley police officer indicted by Sim Gill for manslaughter. After a two year nightmare the charges were dismissed. Taxpayer costs-unknown. The judge said in Cowley's defense, "This is not a case where he acted recklessly." Couldn't Gill figure this out?

    Now John Swallow is investigated/prosecuted for four years. 13 indictments. 0 convictions.

    Two high-profile cases. 0-2 for Gill. Taxpayer costs-again unknown; but most probably millions.

    Sim Gill has a problem. His judgement is flawed. He can't let go of political resentments. Taxpayers shouldn't continue to fund his gargantuan mistakes.

    Gill should go! Now!

  • Living Above the Lighthouse Spanish Fork, UT
    March 4, 2017 8:24 a.m.

    We must remember that just because they could not prove it in a court of law does not mean it was not done - it just means they did not have enough evidence to prove it.

  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    March 3, 2017 11:00 p.m.

    This is the biggest travesty of justice in Utah history...which I teach.

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    March 3, 2017 2:57 p.m.

    Honestly someone should write a book about this trial. They could then sell the movie rights. This is just as improbable as Jimmy Chitworth in Hoosiers or Rocky Balboa in the Rocky movies. The profits from the movie could help Swallow pay down his legal fees. The movie could be shot on location in Utah and employ Utahans. I bet some big name actors would consider some of the parts. Utahans can make lemonade out of a lemon.

  • lasvegas4me Cedar City, UT
    March 3, 2017 2:31 p.m.

    Sounds like the prosecution was trying to force the jury into SWALLOWING garbage on this one.

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    March 3, 2017 1:06 p.m.

    John Swallow and his defense team were the big winners. Sim Gill the big loser for a politically motivated trial that cost Utah untold millions. A thoughtful and fair DA would have not pursued this case based on the evidence. I just checked out of State stories and nearly every source reached the same conclusion.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    March 3, 2017 11:08 a.m.

    One thing this whole incident should teach everyone. If you have friends that have lots of money, and they want to share there good fortune and you begin to share vacations and a lot of other friendly exchanges. If you get in public office you have no friends. Distance your self from all.

  • AndrewJackson New Harmony, UT
    March 3, 2017 9:22 a.m.

    Sounds like this could have been a witch hunt ... and maybe a waste of tax dollars?

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2017 8:53 a.m.

    Utah haters are hilarious. MOVE THEN!

    We live in a great state. We live among great people. Get out and go spend time other places for extended periods of time. I've lived a third of my life on the east coast and the west coast.

    "this is what utah is all about". Hogwash! It sounds like this guy got a fair trial, and paid immensely for it.

    Sim Gill might want to tender resignation effective immediately.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    March 3, 2017 8:42 a.m.

    @Goosehuntr

    Correction....5th and 14th Amendments

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    March 3, 2017 8:40 a.m.

    @Goosehuntr

    Remember, always remember....

    To take the time and study the 4th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

    Those who prejudged and made disparaging remarks towards Mr. Swallow, should be ashamed of themselves.

    There but for the Grace of God go any of us.

    Never judge anybody until they have had their day in court.

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    March 3, 2017 8:04 a.m.

    I am unaware of much of this case, but I learned how powerful the media can be in influencing public opinion. Wow. I learned that I need to invest the time in looking beyond the media. I was swayed against Swallow based on reporting. I was certain he would be convicted, based on what was presented.

    I am ashamed of myself for forming opinions based on media reports and the flavor of the spin. I am convinced there was a very skilled and knowledgeable jury, and when the Feds found nothing, it should have ended there. My opinion of Sim Gill has been influenced by all of this. That opinion is based on his actions and the result of them . They are what they are. Good luck on the rebuilding process. Looks like you have many friends who stand by you Mr. Swallow. That says a lot.

  • windsor City, Ut
    March 3, 2017 7:58 a.m.

    Slow Cooker said: "Was it coincidence that when these false charges were brought against ousted state attorney general, John Swallow, Judge Shelby decided to ignore the majority decision of Utah voters to make same-sex marriage legal?"

    While I don't know enough about what this connection referred to is,
    I appreciate that at least one other person besides me remembers the egregiousness of "Judge Shelby decided to ignore the majority decision of Utah voters to make same-sex marriage legal"

    Thanks Slow Cooker. At least somebody else remembers.....

    It infuriated me that over 2/3rds of Utah voters could have their have their legal legitimate vote overturned just like that by one man with his own agenda.

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    March 3, 2017 7:58 a.m.

    Based on what was released in the news last week, I made a prediction that the jury's decision will come out in favor of Swallow. Prosecution of Swallow but not Shurtleff was an indication of a problematic scenario for the prosecutors. How is it that two people allegedly committed the same crime and one walked away untouched and the other strung up for sacrifice? I wonder if their self political ambitions got in the way of making good decisions for the public. Now, Swallow's attorneys want to be paid. Sadly, the taxpayers will foot the bill.

  • benny02 slc, ut
    March 3, 2017 7:46 a.m.

    #recall sim gill

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    March 3, 2017 7:40 a.m.

    Admittedly, I am out-of-state, and don't know all the details. But, on the surface, the big winner here was Davis County Attorney, Troy Rawlings. Rawlings was smart enough to understand there was no case against Shurtleff when the Feds would not cooperate. He wisely abandoned the case. That is smart lawyering, that saved the taxpayer millions.

    Scott Williams and the Swallow defense team are also winners. Swallow, himself, is a winner for the day. But, his life has been dumped upside down and will never be the same--to say nothing of his legal bills.

    The losers? Judge Hruby-Mills for not declaring a mistrial. Any judgment against Swallow would have been easily overturned on appeal after the jury instruction fiasco. Also, Sim Gill is a loser for wasting who knows how much taxpayer money pursuing the case because, well... he just knew Swallow had to be guilty, even if the evidence wasn't there.

    The biggest loser of all? Chou Chou Collins. Her name will forever be connected with the word "uh-oh."

  • Dixie Independent St George, UT
    March 3, 2017 7:24 a.m.

    It's time for Sim Gill to fall on his sword.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 3, 2017 6:16 a.m.

    And the Utah "Good Ole Boy" System triumphs again.

  • Slow Cooker Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2017 5:51 a.m.

    Was it coincidence that when these false charges were brought against ousted state attorney general, John Swallow, Judge Shelby decided to ignore the majority decision of Utah voters to make same-sex marriage legal? Newly appointed attorney general, Sean Reyes, had insufficient time to fight it, though he gave a valiant effort. Just a thought.

  • endoftimes Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2017 5:44 a.m.

    Congratulations Mr Gill and Media - another witch hunt over. No worries though, you'll no doubt continue fishing for more innocent conservatives and good people to pay.

    You can however take pride in destroying Mr Swallow's and Shurtleff's lives. Enjoy yours!

  • RCS Orem, UT
    March 3, 2017 2:15 a.m.

    Grateful for the diligent and faithful service of the Jurors. Thank you for your devotion and effort to render true judgment. For John: there is a silver lining in all your suffering and grief resulting from being accused, yet enduring such a trial: you can now clearly relate to your Prophet's experience in being falsely charged and dragged into prison again and again. I suspect that only those who have been through such a trial can really relate. In conclusion, your wife, family, friends, and colleagues stood by you. This too, you will never forget.

    There is a verse in this song you will now sing differently; remembering as well, when the song was sung:

    www.LDS.org/music/library/
    “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief”

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    March 3, 2017 12:38 a.m.

    This whole thing was ginned up, originally, by the Salt Lake Tribune. I remember reading the stores years ago in the Tribune. They were constant, creating a drumbeat of innuendo. But I could see nothing criminal in the facts reported. I read carefully, because I have known John Swallow since law school and believed him to be a good man. The feds investigated and found nothing to prosecute. But, that didn't stop Sim Gill. Add this to his list of failures that have hurt good people before being thrown out. In my opinion, he is dim-witted and transparently politically motivated.

  • RicardoMontalban Bountiful, UT
    March 2, 2017 11:18 p.m.

    Sim Gill (not his real name) wasted untold taxpayer dollars proceeding with a case that he knew he could not win for the sole purpose of political warfare. Swallow was no choir boy, to be sure, but this prosecution based on the evidence available was just silly. Sim(not his real name)needs to go.

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    March 2, 2017 11:00 p.m.

    So nice to read some good news for a change!

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2017 10:59 p.m.

    Sim Gill has to go. The Swallow case should never have been brought in the first place. Let's also not forget the case Gill brought against the policeman in, was it South Jordan? That got thrown out, too (by a very good judge). Seems Gill lacks good judgment.

  • yahoo Logan, UT
    March 2, 2017 10:18 p.m.

    I wrote a big piece about how bad the DA office is on this but I can't point any fingers. I need to be better myself. I am just happy that they both are free.

  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    March 2, 2017 9:19 p.m.

    What a waste of taxpayer's money by a DA with a political agenda. Very very sad. I hope the public don't forget this when elections come up again.

  • LoneStarCougar Plano, TX
    March 2, 2017 9:19 p.m.

    It seemed like all the comments over the past months and year have been negative toward Swallow. I'm glad to see most now are positive. You recognize an injustice when it's been perpetrated. Where's the accountability of those that recklessly throw charges at someone? The Feds came in and found nothing, so intelligently, they dropped the matter. Not Gill.

    Well did Shakespeare's Othello say:
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    Thank you Utah for at least getting the acquittal right.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    March 2, 2017 9:12 p.m.

    Good for him and yes, from day one, he was picked as the scapegoat. I'm wondering if the crowd that put him out to burn are now getting nervous.

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    March 2, 2017 8:59 p.m.

    John Swallow innocent of all charges was the correct verdict. The next question is Sim Gill who brought forward a case that likely cost Utah taxpayers $millions and ruined an innocent man. There was clearly insufficient evidence to convict so why the trial? Was it politically motivated? Those are questions that need to be asked.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 2, 2017 8:57 p.m.

    Such an unfortunate situation.

  • Utah4me Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2017 8:50 p.m.

    So sad to see a person suffer the cruelty of others when someone from the Exec. or Legislative branch has it out for that individual. I have seen these witch hunts time and time again ruin lives & relationships, careers, finances and the family of the person(s) charged. I'm surprised the Legislative Auditors weren't leading the battle under the direction of leadership. After all, in their mind it's a feather in their caps when they can destroy a reputation.

    I find it extremely odd that those who feel they have authority, usually legislative, become self proclaimed defenders of moral virtue under the guise that they are representing their constituency. It is very easy to judge others and cast the first stone for these people in which authority has gone to their heads. Shame on you legislators. You turn on your own at the drop of a hat. Someone always has to pay in their vindictive minds. Hard to believe most of these folks proclaim the doctrine of loving their fellow man.

    Mr. Swallow and Mr. Shurtliff always seemed to be honorable and good men from what I know of them.

    Now the rebuilding begins for Mr. Swallow. I'm sure it is a long process that one never truly gets over.

  • essence Ivins, UT
    March 2, 2017 8:48 p.m.

    This seems a sad standard to set for the State of Utah, but then again, perhaps it really reflects what the state is all about.

  • PatrickRC Salt Lake , UT
    March 2, 2017 8:29 p.m.

    Thank heavens. A good man is finally vindicated. A great blessing for him, his family, and those of us who know him.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    March 2, 2017 8:26 p.m.

    We deserve our politicians I suppose. There's something in this case for everyone. If you liked Swallow then you're glad Gill has egg on his face. Otherwise, you figure a guilty man walked and the jury couldn't understand Gill's case.

    Once again, Salt Lake's polarizing politics has a tale to tell.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2017 8:25 p.m.

    Because Swallow was acquitted and Shurtleff's charges were dropped doesn't mean their cases were a witch hunt and they didn't misuse their power and positions as attorney generals. Quite the contrary. Sometimes people get off because they have high powered high paid legal teams not because they are completely innocent of the things they were charged with or other things they may have done. O.J. Simpson is a good example. There are many others throughout history. Regardless enough taxpayer money has been wasted on their cases and it is time to move on. Hopefully, their experiences will help them to be honest lawyers in the private sector. If not, wasted lessons.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    March 2, 2017 8:19 p.m.

    I knew from the very beginning that Swallow was innocent. I agree with the assessment that an innocent man must now face a ruined career and hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, yet his accuser, Sam Gill, with the benefit of paid employees carries on. I think he should be taken from office. This was indeed a political witch hunt.

    Justice is served for John Swallow. I hope that he can even hope to regain some of his life back now. My heart goes out to him and his family who have suffered greatly for the last 4 years!

  • byufootballrocks Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2017 7:59 p.m.

    Yes! This is a great day for the Swallow family, to be sure. He can recover his life and move forward and we are grateful.

    It's a thoughtful jury that weighed the the matters and found that there was not sufficient evidence for these charges.

    But the reason they could seemingly justify bringing the case to trial, and what they are even talking right now after the verdict, is "probable cause" - which as most people know who have some understanding of legal matters is one of the lowest bars ever invented and a disgrace to due and fair process and individual rights.

    I was so very impressed from the time of the press conference a long time ago when John Swallow defended himself, he came across sincerely as an honest person, because that is what he is.

    This case never should have been brought, and much damage was done as a result, and this is true with so many unwarranted prosecutions.

  • whitness Draper, UT
    March 2, 2017 7:57 p.m.

    What an absolute waste of time and money !!!! someone should be held accountable.
    Sorry for Mr. Swallow and his family. Pray time will heal these wounds.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 2, 2017 7:33 p.m.

    Sim Gill needs to quit.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    March 2, 2017 7:25 p.m.

    Like a bad rash, it's finally over.

  • Be Practical Sandy, UT
    March 2, 2017 7:20 p.m.

    Even though John Swallow won the battle, he lost the war. Career ruined, hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills; where's the justice in that? Sim Gill started this wanting to look like a courageous corruption fighter for political purposes. What is he out now that he's lost? Nothing! John Swallow is the looser and so are the taxpayers.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 2, 2017 7:14 p.m.

    So, where does a man go to get his reputation back?

    And who is going to pay the millions of dollars it likely cost Swallow to defend himself against the unlimited legal manhours expended against him?

    Swallow may not be an angel, but we can say for sure he is not a criminal.

    District Attorney Sim Gill needs to be held accountable for his pursuit of a highly politicized case long after it was clear there was not much evidence.

    In the background, the prosecution's star witness who refused to testify is probably secretly glad to see the prosecutors "hoisted by their own petard."

    Welcome back to freedom, Mr. Swallow!

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    March 2, 2017 6:58 p.m.

    I bet the defense is happy that the judge did not grant the motion for a mistrial.

  • LoveLondon Murray, UT
    March 2, 2017 6:54 p.m.

    Once charges against Mark Shurtleff were dropped, I was surprised that charges against John Swallow weren't dropped. I don't know all the facts of this case, but it's time for Sim Gill as Salt Lake County Attorney to go. Mr. Gill wasted a lot of taxpayer money pursuing this prosecution and I do start to wonder if it was politically motivated. I hope the citizens of Salt Lake County are smart enough to vote Sim Gill out of office if he chooses to run again.

  • Schmoo Riverton, UT
    March 2, 2017 6:50 p.m.

    We all knew from the start that this was a witch hunt.

  • KJR Alpine, UT
    March 2, 2017 6:47 p.m.

    Thank goodness. It's fun when the circus comes to town, but I'm glad it's over. Regardless of what people think about "where there's that much smoke there has to be fire," the way it played out did not lend itself to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Hopefully the public, the prosecutors, and Mr. Swallow can get on with life. But I worry about the assymetry in a case like this. Yes, Mr. Swallow appropriately gets the benefit of innocent until proven guilty -- but the prosecution essentially has an unlimited budget with salaried employees while Mr. Swallow has been forced to pay quality attorneys their hourly rates for I cringe to think how many hours.

  • daddylonglegs Kaysville, UT
    March 2, 2017 6:45 p.m.

    Finally. A very good man acquitted on all charges, as he should have been.

  • Heidi71 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2017 6:43 p.m.

    I knew all along that he was not guilty. Anyone who takes the time to hear his side and studies the issues , would know. So the legislature wasted millions of tax-payer dollars to destroy Mr. Swallow's reputation.

  • KJR Alpine, UT
    March 2, 2017 6:27 p.m.

    I think the judge punted on this one. Even the possibility that the jury discussed and debated the issues and facts surrounding a charge that had been dropped is probably sufficient basis for a mistrial. They have been declared in cases involving even weaker procedural errors. Even if the error was "probably harmless", once contaminated by possible improper considerations, you really need to go back and start over again with a new jury . . . just what we need! The motion for mistrial preserved the issue for appeal and, rather than even the possibility of injustice through that error, if I were on the appellate court, I would send it back down for retrial.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    March 2, 2017 4:43 p.m.

    Hung jury or not? The charges should be dropped. This was a cooked deal by Sam Gill and his associates from the beginning. Let Swallow go!

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    March 2, 2017 4:24 p.m.

    Can Williams say anything except "mistrial?" I realize he is the defense attorney but that motion has failed every time and pretty soon it is going to look bad if he brings it up again. He'd do better by trusting that the jury believed his defense rather than not wanting them to consider the evidence. If there's a mistrial then the whole thing happens again and maybe the State will learn from their mistakes, Jensen would get the immunity from the Feds he sought, and then Swallow would be in more jeopardy. I'd let the jury have it all and see what they think, unless of course you're worried that the State did make its case on a charge or two.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2017 1:42 p.m.

    Great stuff for a SNL skit.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    March 2, 2017 11:54 a.m.

    This is just getting better and better for Swallow.

    Not sure who was responsible for the jury instructions. But, I'm guessing the judge is the main person responsible. Then, I am also guessing prosecution and defense attorneys also should have made sure the instructions were correct.

    When you are sitting on a jury, and the judge and the attorneys involved can't figure out what charges were dropped, it starts to get a bit pathetic.