Trolley Square: Parents ask to speak at gun-seller's sentencing

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Ken and Sue Antrobus just want a few minutes for their daughter.

Vanessa Quinn was shot and killed Feb. 12 when a Bosnian teenager went on a shooting spree with a rifle and handgun in Salt Lake City's Trolley Square mall, killing five and wounding four.

Her parents now want a chance to stand in federal court and speak when Mackenzie Glade Hunter, who illegally sold Sulejman Talovic the handgun, is sentenced next month.

But the Cincinnati couple -- and other relatives of people shot by Talovic -- aren't legally considered victims in the three related gun cases.

"This is the very last thing I can do for my daughter," Sue Antrobus, told The Salt Lake Tribune. "And you know, for her not to be considered a victim, it's like, 'Who is then?"'

Documents filed in U.S. District Court here on Thursday ask a judge to recognize Quinn's parents under the 2004 federal Crime Victims' Rights Act. The legislation defines victims as those "directly and proximately" harmed in the commission of a federal crime.

"There can be no doubt Vanessa was 'directly' harmed when a bullet from the gun the defendant illegally sold to Talovic killed her," attorney Greg Skordas wrote. "The fact that Hunter guessed wrong about the crime Talovic might commit with the gun is of no consequence."

Federal prosecutors have said Hunter believed Talovic, then 17, planned to use the gun in a crime, possibly a bank robbery and that's not enough to hold him responsible in the deaths.

But without Hunter's help, maybe Talovic would have "come to his senses" before the shootings, said Ken Antrobus.

Hunter, 20, has pleaded guilty to selling to Talovic the .38 Smith & Wesson handgun that was used to kill the 29-year-old Quinn. The charge carries a possible penalty of up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine for selling a gun to a juvenile, and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for being a user or addict in possession of a gun. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 14.

The Antrobuses also plan a separate court action seeking a longer sentence. In addition to more time behind bars, they want Hunter to pay $100,000 restitution for Quinn's funeral expenses and lost income.

Court papers also ask Judge Dale Kimball for a decision by Jan. 3. If denied, the family will appeal to the 10th Circuit Court in Denver, Skordas said.

Talovic, 18, was killed in a shootout with police at the mall. Police have indicated a motive for the rampage might never be known.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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