Two local ranchers who were investigating suspicious activities at their corrals on Lime Ridge caught Chilcoat and her husband closing a gate in order to prevent cattle from getting to their only water source in the extremely arid region.
Kidnapping Complaint filed against local Ranchers by Rose Chilcoat and Mark Franklin Attorney’s
Last week Zeb Dalton and Zane Odell received a subpoena from Kendall Laws the San Juan County District Attorney ordering them to appear on December 3, 2018 for an Evidentiary Hearing as witnesses in the case of State of Utah vs, Mark Kevin Franklin.
In April of 2017, Chilcoat and her husband were caught endangering livestock. Two local ranchers who were investigating suspicious activities at their corrals on Lime Ridge caught Chilcoat and her husband closing a gate in order to prevent cattle from getting to their only water source in the extremely arid region.
In an unbelievable turn of events in July 2018 the San Juan County prosecutor, Kendall Laws, and the Utah Attorney General’s Office dismissed all charges against environmental radical Rose Chilcoat. The charges against Mark Franklin were left in place.
The evidentiary hearing on December 3rd was to try and get Mr. Franklin’s confession thrown out. They were arguing he was not given his Miranda warning prior to him admitting to closing the gate to the water source.
This evidentiary hearing appears to be part of the strategy of Franklin’s team of attorneys to get the trial postponed repeatedly.
In another bizarre turn of events last week, Franklin’s team filed a complaint with the San Juan County Prosecutors Office claiming Mark Franklin and Rose Chilcoat were kidnapped by Zeb Dalton and Zane Odell when they detained them at the scene of the crime in 2017.
Because the kidnapping investigation was underway by the San Juan County Prosecutor’s Office, both Mr. Odell and Mr. Dalton retained legal representation prior to the evidentiary hearing. Their legal counsel advised them to not testify in the hearing due to the kidnapping investigation. As a result, more motions were filed and the Franklin trial that was set for December 17, 2018 has been postponed again.
Last week was the first time the kidnapping claim had been made according to those involved in the case. Franklin claimed he called Deputy Wilcox one time back in April 2017. He left a message for Deputy Wilcox to call him back. According to Franklin, Deputy Wilcox never returned the call and that was the one and only time Franklin tried to file the complaint until last week 19 months after the fact.
Several attempts were made to get a comment from San Juan County Prosecutor Kendall Laws, who has not yet responded to phone calls, text messages, or my attempt to contact him in person on December 3rd.
These recent developments raise a number of questions:
•Why is the county spending taxpayer money to bring in a Weber County investigator to look into the 19-month-old claim against the witness and victim in Franklin’s cattle endangerment case?
•If indeed there are grounds for kidnapping and/or unlawful detention, why wasn’t the matter addressed 19 months ago?
•Why is the county allowing taxpayers money to be wasted on this obvious attempt to delay the trial and deflect culpability? If the complaint has a basis in fact, the local county attorney, Kendall Laws could have and should have handled it himself.
This all may be a legal strategy by the Franklin’s defense team to drag things out, but Mr. Dalton and Mr. Odell are being victimized repeatedly by both sides in this system in this bizarre case.
Where is the justice in that?
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