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Death Row Inmate's Appeal Overturned

AP News

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.

Tough but fair, Leslie is the woman most of Park City wakes up with every weekday morning. Leslie has been at KPCW since 1990 and her years at KPCW have given her depth and insight, guiding her as she asks local leaders and citizens the questions on everyone’s minds during the live interviews of the Local News Hour.
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