Judge denies state request in polygamist case

Probation terms: Former Hildale police officer only needs to check in with the court, not with a state probation officer

Salt Lake Tribune/December 16, 2005
By Mark Havnes

St. George -- Rodney Holm, convicted of having sex with a teen girl he took as a plural wife, moved closer to freedom on Thursday.

A judge said the former police officer in the polygamist community of Hildale only has to check in with the court - not with a state probation officer - to fulfill his probation.

That decision was fought by Kristine Knowlton, the assistant Utah attorney general who prosecuted Holm in August 2003. During a review hearing before 5th District Judge G. Rand Beacham, she asked the judge to deny modifying probation terms because Holm still is living in a polygamist relationship.

But that's not what Ken England, an official with Adult Parole and Probation, said he saw when he visited Holm's home. He told the judge he saw no evidence of polygamy there.

Holm was convicted on two counts of unlawful sex with a 16- or 17-year-old at least 10 years his junior, and of bigamy stemming from his 1998 "spiritual" marriage at age 32 to Ruth Stubbs, then 16. The ceremony was conducted by an official of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. At the time, Holm already was legally married to Stubbs' sister. Stubbs, who no longer lives with Holm, was the state's star witness during the trial.

In November 2003, Beacham sentenced Holm to a year in Washington County's Purgatory Correctional Facility on a work-release program and three years probation on the third-degree felonies.

Knowlton said Thursday that parole officers should conduct a more-thorough investigation to make sure Holm is not violating the law, but Beacham denied the request, saying he did not want to get involved in administrative issues with AP&P.

Holm's lawyer, Rodney Parker, said Holm has complied with all the provisions of his sentence and should qualify for bench, rather than supervised, probation.

"Let AP&P use its resources more wisely," said Parker.

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