Grand Jury to Get Evidence From Polygamist Standoff

Associated Press

Prosecutors met Friday to prepare evidence for a grand jury on a lengthy standoff with a polygamist clan, and authorities said they know who killed a state officer during the bloody climax of the confrontation.

The state Legislature on Friday unanimously passed a resolution honoring the slain officer "for his courage, his dedication and his great sacrifice," and observed a moment of silence.

And the children in the clan, whose leader believed his father-in-law would be resurrected during the siege, remained defiant in surrender, FBI agent Cal Clegg said.

"The kids were using . . . very unreligious epithets. It surprised us too. They're not the family they've been portrayed to be," Clegg said.

Surprised by Mess

He said authorities who searched the rural log house after the siege ended Thursday were surprised by the mess where nine children and six adults had been living.

"People would've been absolutely astounded at the conditions these poor kids were raised in," Clegg said.

U.S. Atty. Brent Ward met Friday with federal, state and local authorities to prepare evidence to present to a federal grand jury next week and for possible state charges in the death of state Corrections Department Lt. Fred House, 35.

The standoff began Jan. 16 after a Mormon chapel was bombed in Marion, located 50 miles east of Salt Lake City, and police surrounded the clan's nearby compound.

Addam Swapp, charged with the bombing, has said the act was revenge against the Mormon Church and the state for the 1979 slaying by police of polygamist John Singer. Swapp claimed a violent confrontation would bring Singer's resurrection.

Dog Hesitated

Early Thursday, the FBI tried to isolate and capture Swapp, who had left the main house to go to a goat pen. But a police dog hesitated in its attack, and House was killed by a bullet fired from the main log home, authorities said.

Investigators are certain they know who shot House, said Tom Wittman, of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. He declined to disclose an identity, but ruled out the clan's women--matriarch Vickie Singer, the slain Singer's wife, and their two daughters who are married to Swapp.

Also in the house at the time were Mrs. Singer's wheelchair-bound son, John Timothy Singer, 21, and the children, including two Singer sons ages 17 and 15. Outside the house with Swapp was his brother, Jonathan, 21.

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