Rapist will wait 9 years for parole hearing, murder trial next
Crime • Doug Lovell’s murder trial set for February.

By Brooke Adams

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: January 7, 2013 02:46PM
Updated: January 7, 2013 11:09PM
Doug Lovell, convicted of raping Joyce Yost in 1985, also is charged with murdering Yost to prevent her from testifying at his trial. He originally pleaded guilty and received a death sentence, but was allowed to withdraw that plea after the Utah Supreme Court found he had ineffective counsel at trial. He will be retried in the case in February.

Convicted rapist Doug Lovell will wait at least nine years for another opportunity to seek a parole date.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole set a 2022 rehearing date for Lovell, who is serving a 15-to-life sentence for raping Joyce Yost in 1985. But that may not be the last word on Lovell’s legal status.

Lovell, 54, is set to go on trial on Feb. 3 for the second time on charges he murdered Yost, who disappeared in August 1985 after she testified at a preliminary hearing in the rape case. Prosecutors convicted Lovell of the rape charge based on prior testimony.

They charged him with capital murder in 1992 and he pleaded guilty to the crime a year later, explaining he murdered Yost to prevent her from testifying at the rape trial. Prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty if Lovell led them to Yost’s body. That deal was revoked when a search failed to locate Yost.

Lovell was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death. The Utah Supreme Court, however, ruled in July 2010 that he did not have effective counsel during that trial and allowed him to withdraw his guilty plea and pursue a new trial.

Lovell did not attend the Dec. 18 parole hearing. Yost’s two children — Greg Roberts and Kim Salazar — did attending the meeting and afterward expressed frustration with the legal wrangling that has now taken more than two decades.