Death Row Inmate's Appeal Overturned
A federal appeals court has dealt a setback to a Utah death row inmate who saw his conviction overturned with a string of violence at a remote cabin located in Summit County.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that even if Von Lester Taylor did not fire the fatal shots in a 1990 triple shooting and kidnapping case, he cannot be considered innocent because Utah law makes accomplices as guilty as perpetrators.
Last March, a federal judge overturned the death sentence given to Taylor after he was convicted for murders that occurred 30 years ago.
The case began just after Christmas in 1990. Taylor and a friend, Edward Steven Deli, had escaped from a halfway house and broke into a family cabin owned by Rolf and Kay Tiede up Weber Canyon. When the family returned, prosecutors alleged that Taylor fatally shot 70-year old Beth Potts and her daughter 49-year old Kay and kidnapped the Tiede’s two daughters. The two suspects were captured by officers following a vehicle chase.
The finding overturns a previous ruling by a federal judge in Salt Lake City who found reason to believe Taylor’s partner committed the murders.
Deli was found guilty in a separate trial of second degree murder. He is currently serving a life sentence. Over the years, Taylor has pursued a number of unsuccessful appeals to state courts, including three efforts before the Utah Supreme Court.