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Utah defense attorney believed dead from Norwegian waterfall slip

First Published      Last Updated Aug 05 2016 08:43 pm

Search and rescue officials say it’s unlikely he survived the fall or night’s cold conditions.

The family of prominent Utah defense attorney Kent R. Hart confirmed Monday that the 50-year-old man had fallen into a Norwegian waterfall during a hike and was presumed dead.

In a Facebook video, Hart's son, Evan, said his father had slipped and fallen from a trail into the 820-foot Hivjufossen waterfall in Hallingdal, Norway, during a late Sunday afternoon hike.

As of Tuesday, Hart's body had not been located,after Norwegian authorities searched from the air and along the waterfall course with dogs and divers.

The rugged conditions of the waterfall were making search efforts difficult, with strong currents combining with sharp drops and slippery rocks.




Evan Hart, who remained in Norway with his family, said search and rescue officials had told the family it was highly unlikely the elder Hart could have survived the fall, or the cold conditions overnight.

A Salt Lake County native, Hart graduated from the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1992. He practiced in Nevada and New York City before returning to Utah in 1999, where he worked six years in the appeals division of the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association. In 2005, he joined the Utah Federal Defender Officer, where he has served as an appeals attorney and a specialist in capital cases.

The Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, where he had previously served as president, hired Hart as its half-time executive director in 2009, according to the organization's website.

Hart was given the ACLU of Utah's Mickey Duncan Award for outstanding service in 2011. In 2012, he was presented with the Utah Minority Bar Association's Jimi Mitsunaga Award for excellence in criminal law.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with Hart family expenses, and to possibly continue a privately-funded search: https://www.gofundme.com/2gbcwztk

remims@slttib.com

Twitter:@remims

 

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