Kimberly Houk ReportingAnother member of the Kingston family is being investigated for trying to intimidate a judge.
Andrew Valdez has been presiding over an issue of custody regarding John Daniel Kingston and ten of his 108 children. Last week John Ethan Tucker, a nephew of John Daniel Kingston, was caught outside the courthouse snapping photos of Judge Valdez's private chambers. This is the second time in the last six weeks that the judge has felt threatened by the Kingstons.
Judge Valdez came down hard on Kingston in court again, telling him point blank to stop trying to use intimidation to sway a judicial decision.
Daniel Irvin, Kingston's Attorney: “The judge has expressed there’s a fear of coercion.”
The second incident in six weeks is raising concern about security in and around the Matheson Courthouse.
Lt. Reed Parkin, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office: “The judicial system in the Matheson Courthouse has a very tight security plan in place.”
Parkin wouldn't go into detail, but says that every judge is assigned a personal security guard, and every person who enters the courthouse goes through extensive screening. But the activity in question happened outside of the courthouse.
Six weeks ago a member of the Kingston family was found scoping out the judge's private parking garage. Just last week the nephew of Kingston was caught taking pictures outside the judge's private chambers.
Lt. Reed Parkin: “It is concerning, but let’s keep in mind the reality of snapping photos in and of itself is not a crime. And that’s why no charges have been brought. But we are concerned and we’ll be diligent in making sure that the security is appropriate.”
The security issues caused Valdez to postpone a Kingston hearing after the latest incident last week. And he has said several times he fears for his safety and for the safety of the court. Security for the courthouse was beefed up six weeks ago after the first incident. Judge Valdez warned Kingston again, it better stop.
Daniel Irvin: “Our intent, as we said in court, if this is going on we do want to prosecute it and investigate it, cause it’s casting a shadow upon our case, which is not helpful at all.”
The Sheriff's Office says they'll continue to keep an eye Tucker, and continue to be on the lookout for any suspicious activity surrounding the Matheson Courthouse.