SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An attorney for a California businessman who prosecutors allege led a nearly $500 million fraud scheme against the U.S. says his client is being scapegoated by polygamists. Lawyer Mark Gerago made the assertion Thursday during his trial opening statement, saying Lev Arslan Dermen was used by others accused in the scheme to avoid having to share proceeds with others in the polygamous group. Prosecutors contend the men joined Dermen in exchange for protection by what he called his “umbrella” of law enforcement and government sources. Dermen has pleaded not guilty. The polygamists pleaded guilty and are expected to testify against Dermen.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Supreme Court has approved a rule change enabling residents who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to become attorneys. The court ruling applies to those who have qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The administrative program does not convey legal status but allows temporary protection from deportation and permission to legally work. The Utah ruling will allow people who receive deferred action status under DACA or another policy to be eligible for admission to the Utah State Bar if they meet all other admission requirements.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Authorities in Salt Lake City say a man was electrocuted when the cherry picker he was operating accidentally touched a string of power lines. Fire Capt. Anthony Burton says the man, whose name and age have not been released, died while working west of Liberty Park on Thursday morning. The Deseret News reports emergency crews had to wait for Rocky Mountain Power to cut electricity to the lines before they could get the man off of the hydraulic elevated platform, by which time he was dead. The man was not working for a company, and it's unclear what he was doing when he was electrocuted. No other information was released.
MURRAY, Utah (AP) — A 3-year-old boy is expected to survive after accidentally shooting himself in the head while playing with a gun in his home in suburban Salt Lake City. A spokesman for police in Murray says investigators believe the boy was awake before his parents and another sibling on Thursday morning and used a chair to reach a handgun that was sitting on a kitchen cabinet. The boy was taken to Intermountain Medical Center, about a mile from his house, by a family member and then air lifted to Primary Children's Hospital.