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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah's Republican attorney general is removing himself from his office's defense of a state law challenged by the Utah Republican Party. Sean Reyes said in a statement that he's recusing himself because he's donated to the party and is an elected member of its governing body. The law changes the way Utah nominates candidates for political office. The Utah Republican Party sued the state over the changes, saying they violate the party's constitutional right to choose how its picks candidates.

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — A mental competency hearing has been set next month for a teenager from a small southern Utah city accused of killing his neighbor. The Spectrum of St. George reports that a pair of forensic psychiatrists submitted differing opinions about the mental state of 18-year-old Joshua Canfield. One ruled he was competent to stand trial. The other concluded the opposite.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Police are searching for someone who drove by and shot at a Utah state trooper who was making a separate roadside arrest following a wild chase yesterday. Authorities say the trooper wasn't hurt by the shot fired on Interstate-215.

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — A southern Utah man accused of fatally beating a man with a tree branch accepted a plea deal this week that allows him to avoid a lifetime prison sentence. The Spectrum of St. George reports 55-year-old John Stucki of LaVerkin will serve two years in prison. Stucki is accused of hitting 64-year-old Donald Loomer with a large tree branch during a drunken brawl.

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