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Man found guilty of planning to murder woman he sexually abused

By Emiley Morgan | Posted - May 12, 2011 at 4:37 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — A jury has found a man guilty of trying to hire someone to kill not only a girl he sexually abused, but also her family.

Dennis Lingmann, 48, was convicted of six counts of solicitation to commit aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, after a jury deliberated for six hours.

Lingmann was sentenced to as many as 40 years in prison in June 2009 for various sex abuse charges and one stalking charge stemming from a relationship he carried on for years with a teenage girl. After Wednesday's jury verdict in the solicitation case, Lingmann faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 8.


Prosecutors say Lingmann told his cellmate, "If I'm going to do 20 or 30 years in prison, I might as well (kill her). If I can't have her, no one can have her."

In September of 2009, just before Lingmann was to be sentenced in the sex abuse case, new charges were filed against Lingmann alleging he offered a former cellmate $16,000 to burn his victim's house with the whole family inside.

Man found guilty of planning to murder woman he sexually abused

At the original sentencing hearing, the woman talked about how her family trusted Lingmann and hired him for a job. She said he sexually abused her repeatedly from the time she just turned 15 until age 18. When she eventually refused to have anything to do with Lingmann, he began stalking and threatening her so much, she was afraid to leave the house.

Prosecutors say Lingmann told his cellmate, "If I'm going to do 20 or 30 years in prison, I might as well (kill her). If I can't have her, no one can have her."

After a transfer in the jail, Lingmann's cellmate wrote a letter to police alerting them of the conversations. With help from investigators, the former cellmate recorded a conversation with Lingmann, during which the two talked about "burning the house with the whole family inside," the charges state.

Lingmann's defense attorney, Manny Garcia, said Lingmann's cellmate was more of a wired informant than anything else who encouraged the talk of violent acts.

"My client said it was the informant's idea to talk about all this mayhem," Garcia said. "My client said that while he talked to him he decided, 'Forget it. It's all crazy.'"


This case shows how many agencies can come together to bring a truly evil person to justice.

–Mark Shurtleff, Utah attorney general


#shurtleff_quote

Garcia said both men took the stand during the trial, but the jury clearly didn't believe Lingmann's version of events. Garcia said all the statute requires is a showing of a mental state committed to killing.

"It was impossible for it to happen. Nobody was ever in danger," Garcia said. "But that's not a defense."

Prosecutor Paul Amann said he felt the jury "gave their undivided attention to carefully weigh the testimony and evidence and bring back a fair verdict." Various organizations worked on the investigation and prosecution of the case, prompting praise from Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

"This case shows how many agencies can come together to bring a truly evil person to justice,” Shurtleff said.

Email:emorgan@ksl.com

Emiley Morgan

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