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Man linked to mall shootings handgun going to prison

Man linked to mall shootings handgun going to prison

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A 22-year-old man on probation for his role in the sale of a handgun used in the Trolley Square shootings has pleaded guilty to two probation violations and was sentenced to nine months in prison.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball sentenced Matthew Hautala of Rock Springs, Wyo., in a plea agreement.

Bosnian immigrant Sulejman Talovic, 18, shot and killed five people and wounded four on Feb. 12, 2007, at Trolley Square. Talovic was shot and killed by police.

In 2006, Hautala watched another Wyoming man give the .38 Special used in the mall shootings to Mackenzie Glade Hunter in Rock Springs. Hunter gave the gun to Brenden Taylor Brown of West Jordan and later set up a meeting where the gun was sold to Talovic, who was then 17.

Hautala was accused of five probation violations -- possession or distribution of LSD; possession or distribution cocaine' unlawfully taking property worth $500 from someone; failing to tell his probation officer of a January change of address; and failing to submit a supervised-release report for December.

He pleaded guilty Wednesday to failing to submit the report and the change of address.

Hautala still faces state theft and burglary charges and federal drug charges in Wyoming.

In the charges filed after the Trolley Square shooting, Hautala originally was accused of lying to investigators by denying he witnessed the transfer of the revolver.

In a plea agreement, the felony count was reduced to a misdemeanor charge of aiding and abetting the unlawful transfer of a firearm to a juvenile. Kimball put Huatala on a year supervised release and fined him $500.

Hunter is serving 15 months in federal prison for selling a the .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun to a minor. Brown was sentenced to a year probation and a $500 fine.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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