Friday, April 16, 2010

Renegade LDS "Home Teacher" Stetson Hallam Charged With First Degree Aggravated Kidnapping In Provo, Utah; Could Face Life In Prison

Update July 27th: Stetson Hallam pleads guilty to second-degree kidnapping and obstruction of justice; updated post HERE.

In my previous post about this case, I speculated that police might have been really concerned about the presence of a bin which was five feet long by two feet wide and three feet tall with a lockable lid and handles. Such a bin would be large enough to accommodate a kidnap victim.

And apparently I'm right. On April 16th, 2010, BYU student Stetson Hallam (pictured at left), who got a little too carried away with his home teaching responsibilities and started stalking one of the women for which he was responsible, appeared in 4th District Court in Provo. But instead of being charged with third-degree felony charges of aggravated assault and attempted kidnapping, he is now being charged with a first-degree felony charge of aggravated kidnapping, according to the Provo Daily Herald and the Deseret News.

The first degree charge carries a prospective penalty of 15 years to life in prison.

Prosecutor Curtis Larson declined to comment on the reason Hallam was charged with a higher felony. But here's why I think they upped the charges. First, the record shows that Hallam had been showing a romantic interest in the victim over a period of time; the victim did not return his interest. Hallam then repeatedly contacted the woman, telling her he had a gift for her. Police say Hallam met the woman around 9:30 p.m. April 6th and told her a roommate helped him prepare a scavenger hunt for the gift in the common laundry room. In the laundry room, police say, he told her to open a bin, which she reportedly described as 5 feet long by 2 feet wide and 3 feet tall, with a lockable lid and handles. When the woman opened the empty bin, Hallam pressed a stun gun to the woman's arm, and she fell to the ground, according to police. Hallam then pinned the woman down and put a handcuff on one of her arms. At the same time, he covered her mouth with his hand while she screamed and fought him, but she bit down on his finger until he got up and apologized, claiming it was an April Fool's joke, according to police.

Because Hallam had displayed an obsession with his victim, police are concluding that his real intent was not to play an April Fool's joke, but to force the victim into the bin and kidnap her. But without his admission, that will be tough to prove. So perhaps they also upped the charge in the hope of inducing a plea deal on a lesser charge.

Hallam's attorney, Sean Peterson, declined to comment on the case. Hallam's next court date was set for May 4th in front of Judge Christine Johnson in American Fork. A BYU spokesperson previously stated that the university's Honor Code Office would be reviewing this case to determine Hallam's future at the school.

It's hard to believe this guy could be a kidnapper, considering he's active LDS and has no prior criminal record, but stranger things have happened.


Anonymous said...

I was his roommate at the time of the incident. He did have a prior criminal record. He sexually abused his cousin a few years ago. Given all the details, and knowing the individuals involved, I'm here to say it was not a prank.

S. M. H. said...

He sexually abused me. He tried to rape me in his car then told his mom I TRIED TO RAPE HIM! He was a perv, and was always doing nasty things. He acted like a good guy, but was not.