Surveillance gear puts fear in judge

Deseret Morning News/November 4, 2004
By Leigh Dethman

A juvenile court judge said he fears for his safety as well as the safety of his court after a member of the polygamous Kingston clan was spotted installing video surveillance equipment outside the Matheson Courthouse last week.

Third District Juvenile Judge Andrew Valdez said courthouse surveillance cameras spotted a car outside the judges' secure parking lot at 3 a.m. Oct. 29. The video shows someone installing video surveillance equipment.

Police traced the license plate from the vehicle to a man tied to the Kingston clan in Huntington, Carbon County. The clan owns and operates the CW Mining Co. in Huntington.

Valdez said he is concerned for his family's safety, as well as that of the actual court.

"I'm not saying I was the target," Valdez said. "I'm just saying there is an investigation going on."

Courthouse security was heightened after police learned of the security breach, Valdez said.

Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Rosie Rivera said deputies are on site at the courthouse 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and cameras patrol every inch of the property.

Valdez talked about the surveillance Wednesday at a hearing for Heidi Mattingly, one of John Daniel Kingston's polygamist wives.

During the hearing, the judge ruled Mattingly can move out of a domestic violence shelter into a home she recently purchased.

In late October, Valdez removed eight of Mattingly and Kingston's children from the home and ordered Mattingly to live in a domestic violence shelter. Earlier this year, Valdez ruled that Kingston abused his children and that Mattingly failed to protect the children.

Mattingly also must not have contact with any member of the Kingston clan, including her parents and other polygamous wives of John Daniel Kingston.

Her parents were in the courtroom with approximately 20 other members of the clan Wednesday, and the judge ordered them to leave.

The judicial order also bars Mattingly from working at her job at a clan-operated copy center. Mattingly said Wednesday she has no source of income and just wants to have her family back.

"It's extremely, extremely hard," Mattingly said. "I'll be happy when I have my kids."

In an article in The Salt Lake Tribune Monday, Mattingly said she made a down payment on her new house with $3,400 in child support money and $1,600 in savings.

But in previous court testimony, Mattingly said she did not have any savings. Mattingly changed her story Wednesday, saying much of the down payment came from donations after the newspaper article ran.

"There have been people from the larger community that have called me and offered support, and I really appreciate their help," Mattingly said before Wednesday's hearing.

Valdez ordered Mattingly to reveal the names of all those who donated the money used to purchase her home. In his earlier ruling, Valdez said Mattingly must live independently of the Kingstons, financially and socially.

In order to prove she is not violating the no-contact order, Mattingly must provide phone logs to the court.

"This is not an exercise in jumping through hoops and being superficial," Valdez said. "We're going to teach this new generation of Kingstons that abuse and violence are not acceptable."

Mattingly will find out on Nov. 10 if the judge will allow eight of her children to live with her on a trial basis.

Her polygamous husband, Kingston, is scheduled to appear in court today to find out what his visitation rights will be.

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