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PANGUITCH, Utah (AP) -- William Bryon Allred has been sentenced to five years to life in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery for his part in the slaying of Garfield County sheriff's Deputy David C. Jones.
Allred, 51, entered the plea Thursday before 6th District Judge K.L. McIff.
Jones had stopped Allred 10 miles from Escalante on Jan. 26 on suspicion of drunken driving. Allred was handcuffed and placed in the patrol car and Jones went to question Allred's passenger, Earl Leston Barnes regarding possession of an open container of alcohol.
Barnes asked to be allowed to roll down the windows in the truck for two dogs, but actually retrieved a gun and opened fire. In an exchange of gunfire, Jones was mortally wounded and Barnes was wounded in the arm and chest,
Allred told Barnes to get the key to unlock the handcuffs and the two men fled. They were captured 40 miles south, in Kane County.
The robbery charge stemmed from Allred taking the key.
Barnes pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In exchange for Allred's guilty plea on the aggravated robbery charge, other charges, including escape from custody and obstruction of justice, were dropped.
Jones' widow, Carolyn, told the court that earlier on the day of the slaying, she had encountered Allred at a store were he was buying beer.
She talked to him about the gun he was wearing, and he showed it to her. It was the gun that later was used to kill her husband.
"My anger is and always will be greater against Allred. It was within his power of a word or two of warning to let Dave know that Barnes had gone for (the) gun," she told the court. "With just a simple phrase, we each of the three families would be whole."
Allred apologized to the Jones family saying, "...I can't undo what happened that day. I wish I could. I want to apologize for this catastrophic mess. I wish I had known Mr. Barnes better. I didn't really know him that well. I had no idea what this man's history was... Not a day goes by that I don't picture those events of that day."
Allred said he was watching Jones and did not see Barnes get the gun.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)