Skip to comments.Former BYU student sent to prison for kidnapping
Posted on 09/13/2010 5:55:18 AM PDT by Colofornian
AMERICAN FORK -- Stetson Hallam, a former BYU student who used a Taser on a woman in an attempt to kidnap her as part of what he said was a prank, was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison on Wednesday.
Fourth District Judge Christine Johnson said she agreed with Adult Probation and Parole's assessment that Hallam, 20, was a danger to the community given the disturbing nature of the offense and that if his victim had not screamed and fought back, what Hallam said was a prank could have turned into something far more serious.
"It gravely concerns me that there was something else going on here, and we'll never know, I suppose, what it was that you intended to do," she said.
Hallam's attorney, Sean Petersen, asked for either probation or jail time instead of prison time, saying the young man was getting treatment for his depression and that because he had no criminal history, the sentence should be less than the recommended time.
"At the time, clearly he didn't anticipate what would happen based on his actions that night," Petersen said. "He understands that his actions that night were not well thought out."
Hallam echoed that and said he was taking responsibility for his actions that night and getting the help he needed to overcome depression and anger issues. He said he regretted his actions that night and didn't understand the pain he would put his own family and the victim and her family through.
"I realize my actions were not well thought out, and I had no understanding of how it would affect her, and I realized that when I read her letter, that there was more of an impact than I had guessed," he told the judge.
Johnson wasn't moved.
"It doesn't sound to me like you're saying, 'I shouldn't have done this;' you're saying you should have done this in a different way," she said.
She also said that although Hallam said the action was a prank, he expressed anger and jealousy of his victim and did seem to target her specifically.
Hallam pleaded guilty to kidnapping and obstruction of justice on July 27. He was arrested after the 19-year-old woman in his LDS ward reported that Hallam attacked her in a laundry room in their apartment complex. Police say Hallam was the woman's home teacher and had some romantic interest in her, but the interest was not returned.
Hallam reportedly contacted the woman repeatedly, telling her he had a gift for her. Police say Hallam met the woman around 9:30 p.m. April 6 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.
When the woman reported the incident to police two days later, she had burn marks on her arm and bruising on her wrist, according to police. When Hallam was arrested, police say he had a bite mark on his left middle finger.
Prosecutor Tim Taylor said he asked for prison time instead of jail time so Hallam could get the treatment offerings that the state prison could provide.
Isn't using a taser on someone also assault? And they couldn't get an obvious conviction on that?
I could shoot you dead and get less time on the high end but Im not defending the man’s actions at all.
Seemed like his defense was a bit muddled but he created that problem himself as well.
More clarity in sentencing is an idea here but it seems to me that it was his intent of unlawful restraint that got him in real trouble - who knows where that would have led.
She needed time to think if being tasered and handcuffed by someone who wanted to put her in a plastic bin was actually a crime....
Do the whole 15.
Excuse me for being sceptical but what kind of name is Hallam?
I didn’t see it in the post.
vs the sentence for straight up murder 2?
its a difficult call but I understand/share your position
Im not a big fan of indeterminate sentencing - it should be something straight up IMO
A college buddy got into a deadly fight in a bar back in the ‘69. He entered a guilty plea to manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years in a reformatory. He did four and a half years based on “good” time served.
He was one of the brightest guys in my class but this ruined his prospects for any kind of normal life.
Or hey, just for punishment!
Anybody else think that prosecutor is a little squishy inside?
I don’t understand why they continue to publish the religion of the perp.
In my mind, it really has little to do with the crime, in terms of motivation.
Sure it does. It had everything to do with access & establishment of false trust (as her "Mormon home teacher"); and, it was exactly because of this pre-existent relationship that he apparently developed fantasies which he then carried out.
What? Do you think had he not been her home teacher, that she would have become his victim?
Now you may be right in another sense. Had someone not discerned him as an eligible home teacher, why it's true she would not have become his likely victim...it could be said that perhaps his underlying motivation would have just been transferred to another potential victim.
I knew I should have finished my thought on this one.
The circumstances did indeed provide opportunity and the conduit to create a false trust.
My thinking on this was I can’t stand thought crimes. In other words, the crime itself is the crime and society seems bent on compounding the crime with thought.
And I agree with were are you going on this. That is, he may indeed have thought his position as the perfect cover for his deluded power construct that would give him an opportunity to pretend he is a trusted adviser or mentor.
It could also have be that it unfolded as an opportunity of crime but was never thought of when he desired to ascend to the position and finding himself irrelevant emotionally or as a possible date interest he could have desired to MAKE IT HAPPEN On His Terms.
Perhaps then she would see him as her worthy suitor.
Wait...! Am I taking myself into your position? LOL
Either way the guy is a pimply azz dork and had a bad attitude with an intent to rule and intimidate another into fulfilling HIS DESIRES.
As opposed to a more satisfying relationship where two people come together on mutual terms and wanting to be with each other.
Instead, he needed to be with her and her role was to be that of the submissive.
Should have taken on a tribe of mannequins. They don’t talk all the time.
Yeah, this guy, at best is simply a hi-tech caveman (taser vs. club). At worst: Well what have we known rapists to become? You know, those who realize their victims might actually wanna report what happened...there goes his home teacher role...his "respect"...his freedom...
Yeah. Well this guy was too well equipped...too detailed to just be a prankster...and too smart to know that hi-tech caveman "romance" doesn't work in this era. Which only leaves the reality that 15 years isn't enough for him.
Time for Vendome Attitude adjustment for miscreants like this:
Put him a room full of rocking chairs
Release 20 long tail cats into the room
Cue Barry Mannilow music
After a sufficient time, with the kitties, flood room with 3 feet of water.
Release 5 adolescent tiger sharks and let them spend 10 minutes with him.
Pull the sharks after no more than 10 minutes and then place him a room full of mirrors, so he can see his pain. Spend the rest of the week misting the room with salt water at 20 minute intervals for 4 days and place him a straight jacket with a muzzle so we don’t have hear his shrieking.
But that’s just me.
After all, he won't get another "home teaching" calling, would he?
Is that "close" to what you were suggesting, justice-wise?
You mean like judge Christine Johnson?
“I hereby sentence you to 1-15 years and note that you have already served 9 months” wink wink wink....
Completely absurd. He committed several crimes and was found guilty of what? 2?
What happens when you drive drunk in Utah, have a wreck and injure someone?
You are forced to drive horse and buggy for 1-15 years?
Mount a mule for 1-15 years?
Walk? for 1-15 years?
Completely ridiculous and an absurd afront to public justice and safety.
Should also include the sentencing is an afront to victim justice and safety.