Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Former Utah public defender sentenced to jail in theft case
Courts » John Hummel found guilty of extorting goods from indigent clients.
First Published Mar 15 2013 04:02 pm • Last Updated Mar 19 2013 01:43 pm

A former Garfield County public defender will spend 90 days in jail after a jury convicted him on felony charges of theft and attempted theft by extortion for demanding money, firearms and other forms of payment from indigent clients he was already being paid by taxpayers to defend.

A 6th District Court jury found John E. Hummel, 54, guilty of five felony counts during his February trial.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

On Friday, Judge James Taylor ordered Hummel to prison for each of the felonies, but suspended the sentence in favor of 36 months probation and 90 days in the Garfield County jail.

If he does not complete probation, Hummel could face up to 55 years in prison. Hummel also was ordered to pay restitution to the victims, an amount that will be determined at a later date by Adult Probation and Parole.

Prosecutors said that in 2008 and 2009, Hummel used his power and influence to extract payments from at least seven clients. In court papers, prosecutors said Hummel’s victims claimed to be "naive to the system and how it works" and never would have agreed to the defense attorney’s demands if they had known their rights.

Among the items Hummel received as payment for legal services were seven firearms, two 32-inch flat-screen televisions, two computers, an iPod, digital camera, video camera, Play Station 3, DVD player and more than $11,000 cash, court documents state.


Twitter: @jm_miller

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.