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Did politics sway alleged Utah terrorist’s case?
Courts » Stiles belongs in a mental hospital, not jail, his attorney says.

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Stiles has a history of mental illness.

According to charging documents, the day he planned on committing the alleged mass shooting was Sept. 25, which police said was the anniversary of his mother’s death.

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Stiles does not own a gun. If he tried to purchase one, Hamilton said, "he would be unable to do so."

According to police, Stiles said he had "scoped and mapped out" sites at City Creek Center and at Cinemark Movies 10 in Sugar House. At City Creek, he planned to "just randomly shoot and kill people" at lunch time, police reported.

He then said he planned to go to the Sugar House movie theater at 1 p.m., when it is likely to be less crowded, allowing him to select his targets more carefully, according to police.

Stiles was arrested two days before the alleged attack was to occur after his crisis worker went to the police.

"We understand why people would be troubled or concerned by the allegations in this case — so was Mr. Stiles," Hamilton said. "That’s why he called 911 and sought police and medical attention. He was uncomfortable with what was going on, but people with mental illness can’t always control what they’re thinking. They need us to get them help. We should be encouraging this behavior and response — not punishing his honesty."

This most recent request for evidence, Hamilton believes, will demonstrate prejudice against his client and unethical practices by the prosecution comes on the tail of another motion he filed asking that the district attorney’s office be tossed from the case.

In that filing, defense attorneys accused prosecutor Heather McGinley of going through back-channels to obtain private medical information on Stiles without his consent.

McGinley was assigned to the case about the time the alleged plea deal appeared to unravel.

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Gill said the original prosecutor was reassigned to a different part of the office and took over unrelated cases. McGinley’s apointment had nothing to do with the Stiles matter in particular, he said.


Twitter: @Marissa_Jae

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