Security Increased in Kingston Case

Security Increased in Kingston Case

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Kimberly Houk ReportingLaw enforcement officers all over the state have been placed on high alert after testimony in polygamist John Daniel Kingston's custody hearing yesterday. Testimony revealed sinister plots to kidnap Kingston children out of foster care, to kill social workers and a judge, and even bomb the Matheson Courthouse.

This case is starting to be referred to as the pinata case. Every time you smack it more and more comes out. And now law enforcement is starting to pay close attention to everything that's said in court.

Amid threats of bombs, guns, and masked kidnappers, security around the Matheson Courthouse was tightened yesterday in preparation for an emergency Kingston custody hearing. The family's number one target is juvenile court judge Andrew Valdez.

On the stand Kingston's 16-year old daughter revealed the family discussed bombing the courthouse to kill the judge. This weekend officers surrounded the judge's home for added protection.

On two separate occasions last year Kingston's half brother, Ethan Tucker, was found checking out the judge's private chambers and taking pictures of the judge's private parking garage. The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office investigated both incidents. No charges have been filed, but the threats are getting more serious in nature. And now FBI officers and investigators from the Attorney General's Office are sitting in court, paying close attention to everything that said on the stand.

Paul Murphy, Attorney General's Spokesperson: "We're not ignoring the threat, and appropriate measures are being taken to make sure that the threats are taken seriously, and that people are protected -- we'll get to the bottom of this."

Bob Stott with the District Attorney's office says no referrals have been sent to his office, asking them to investigate any criminal activity surrounding the Kingston family. Those referrals would generally come from officers of the court. A spokesperson for the court says officers are looking into filing a referral soon.

Things they're looking into include testimony indicating family members talked about wearing masks and using guns to kidnap 10 of Kingston's children who are in the state's custody. She also spoke of plots to take out the Guardian Ad Litem, a lawyer from the Attorney General's office, and a DCFS caseworker by either running them off the road or shooting them.

Carol Sisco, Division of Child and Family Services: "We're working closely with law enforcement to get some extra patrols. We're putting an extra guard out at the office where he is and we're doing some other things to make sure he's ok."

All of these custody hearings are about whether the Kingston children should be returned to their parents. They were removed from the home after the judge found them to be abused and neglected.

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