OFFICER KILLED-CONVICTION OVERTURNED
Court overturns conviction for accomplice in officer death
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a woman convicted as an accomplice in a police officer's killing in 2014. Chief Justice Matthew Durrant wrote in an opinion released Friday that there is a reasonable possibility the jury would not have found Meagan Grunwald guilty if there hadn't been an error in jury instructions. He wrote that “our confidence in the guilty verdict is undermined.” Justice Thomas Lee dissented. Authorities said Grunwald, then 17, drove the car for her boyfriend during a deadly 2014 police chase that resulted in the death of Utah County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Cory Wride.
KIDS WITNESS SLAYING
Utah teacher pleads guilty in 2018 death of ex's girlfriend
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former Utah teacher has pleaded guilty to murder charges in the shooting death of her ex-husband's girlfriend, who was killed in front of the former couple's 3-year-old twins. Prosecutors have said Chelsea Cook shot Lisa Williams while Williams and the children decorated a Christmas tree in 2018. Cook pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated murder and other charges in an agreement with prosecutors. The Williams family has said Cook harassed the 26-year-old online and in person for months before the slaying. Cook was a high school health teacher in Lehi before her arrest.
Redistricting law approved by voters at risk, supporters say
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Supporters of a voter-approved independent redistricting effort say Republican lawmakers are ready to dismantle the measure aimed at combating gerrymandering. The director of the group Protect Better Boundaries says lawmakers are considering changes that would cut to the heart of the law. Republican House Speaker Brad Wilson argues lawmakers must make changes to bring the measure in line with the state constitution. He acknowledges repeal is possible, but he says they haven't decided exactly what to do. The measure would change a process controlled by the GOP-dominated Legislature that critics have said unfairly carved up Democratic-leaning parts of the state.
UTAH FOOTBALL PLAYER-RAPE CHARGES
Univ of Utah football player charged with 3 counts of rape
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A University of Utah football player accused of raping a 17-year-old girl is facing additional charges after prosecutors say he also raped two women. The Salt Lake Tribune reports 20-year-old wide receiver Terrell Perriman is now charged with eight felonies, including three counts of rape. Perriman initially faced a single count of rape and a charge of aggravated kidnapping for allegedly assaulting a teen girl he met on Instagram. Prosecutors amended the charges Friday, saying he raped two women in Salt Lake County. Defense attorney David Drake says Perriman did not rape the teen. He did not respond to a phone message Friday asking about the additional charges.
Utah man pleads guilty to 17 felonies including sex assault
FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — An Ogden man accused of several rapes in Utah and Wyoming has pleaded guilty to all 17 charges levied against him, including aggravated sex assault, kidnapping and burglary. The Standard-Examiner reported that 69-year-old Mark Douglas Burns pleaded guilty Thursday. Burns was arrested in September after authorities linked him to multiple cases in Utah and Wyoming through familial DNA. Burns, who was dubbed the “Clearfield Rapist,” is being held in the Davis County Jail. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 6.
Republican Utah lawmakers send letter praising Trump
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers have sent President Donald Trump an official letter of commendation after rejecting efforts to formerly rebuke Mitt Romney following the senator’s vote to impeach him. The citation released Thursday by Republican leaders commends Trump for repealing “onerous” federal regulations, reducing the size of two national monuments in the state and appointing conservative judges. The citation also urged Congress to “get back to work for the American people.” Utah Democrats condemned the language, arguing the message was divisive and highlighted actions by the Trump administration that many people disagree with. The letter comes after leaders rejected proposals that could have censured or recalled Romney.