Polygamist clan leader imprisoned in Arizona - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Polygamist clan leader imprisoned in Arizona

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Posted: Friday, March 17, 2006 10:42 am | Updated: 2:10 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

SALT LAKE CITY -- Addam Swapp, the leader of a small polygamous clan that bombed a Mormon chapel in 1988 and then made a standoff at their Marion ranch that ended in the death of a Corrections officer, has finished his term in an Arizona federal prison and is now serving his Utah state sentence in an Arizona state facility.

The 15-year federal term was for the bombing and the state sentence of one to 15 years is for manslaughter in the shooting death of Corrections Lt. Fred House.

Family members who live in Sanpete County want him transferred to a Utah facility, where they can visit him more often. They have asked Gov. Jon Huntsman to intervene.

Corrections officials said it would not be a good idea to hold him in a facility where House's relatives still work.

House's brother has an administrative position at Corrections, and two of his cousins are Corrections officers, Corrections spokesman Jack Ford said.

"If something happened to him (Swapp), people would question if everything was done in a proper manner. It just doesn't look right," Ford said.

"There wasn't anybody in the department who thought it was a good idea given the fact that the person killed in this incident in Marion was a state Corrections officer."

On Jan. 27, Swapp, 44, was transferred from the Federal Corrections Institute in Phoenix to the Alhambra facility, an Arizona Department of Corrections receiving and orientation unit, also located in Phoenix.

Under the Interstate Compact Agreement, Utah was able to place Swapp at the Arizona facility and an Arizona inmate will be imprisoned in Utah, Ford said.

House was killed Jan. 28, 1988, during a 13-day standoff at the Singer family's Marion ranch in Summit County after the bombing. Swapp's brother-in-law, John Timothy Singer, opened fire on law enforcement officers as they tried to end the siege.

Swapp's release date will still be determined by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole, and upon completion of his sentence, he will be released in Utah.

Swapp has six children by the two daughters of the clan's original leader, John Singer, who was shot to death in 1979 when he pulled a gun on officers seeking to arrest him following a standoff.

John Singer had refused to allow his children to attend school, where he feared they would encounter drugs and race-mixing. The dispute escalated when he refused to attend court appearances, took a neighbor woman as a second wife and took in her children over the objection of their father.

Swapp detonated 87 sticks of dynamite in the chapel near the Marion ranch in January 1988. He and other members of the clan, including his mother-in-law, Vicki Singer, said they believed the action would topple The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and resurrect Singer.

About 100 law officers surrounded the compound.

The siege culminated with a shootout Jan. 28 after House and an FBI team tried to capture Swapp and his brother, Jonathan Swapp, as they left the house to milk a goat. House and other officers hid in a nearby building and prepared to set a police dog on the Swapps.

John Timothy Singer, who was covering the brothers from his wheelchair with a rifle, opened fire, killing House. He denied that he was aiming at House.

The Mormon church abandoned polygamy a century ago, but it is believed tens of thousands of people in the region still practice it.

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