The Singer-Swapp bombing trial ended on a wild note Thursday afternoon, with Addam Swapp testifying from the witness stand against the strong advice of all of the defense lawyers.
He slapped the lectern, spoke sharply to Chief U.S. District Judge Bruce S. Jenkins; sarcastically argued with U.S. Attorney Brent D. Ward; said the kingdom of God was coming soon; quoted religious doctrine; extolled the destruction of church, state and nation "in that order"; and admitted dynamiting the LDS Kamas Stake Center in January."The sword of God will fall on the unrighteous," he said. Throughout the day, he wore the buckskin jacket his wives had made for him, with religious emblems on it.
When the blast went off in stake center he said, "It looked to me like many evil spirits were rising above the chapel because of the eerie red glow and the smoke in the darkness." He said he thought he was "inspired" in making the bomb.
Swapp frequently refused to answer questions about other defendants, who include his mother-in-law, Vickie Singer; his brother Jonathan; and his brother-in-law, John Timothy Singer; even after Jenkins warned him that each time a witness refused to answer an appropriate question he could be held in contempt of court. And each violation could result in a separate prison term.
Swapp was the last of three defense witnesses. On Monday, lawyers will huddle with Jenkins to discuss instructions to the jury. Closing arguments will be heard Tuesday, and then the case will be up to the jury.
Ward asked who had told Swapp to "stand and fight like a man," a phrase Swapp used in speaking with a TV reporter.
"Almighty God; if you have not had the experience, it is like casting pearls before swine," Swapp said.
An overflow crowd lined the walls of the courtroom and sat in a special area behind the defense table that Jenkins opened for spectators.
While jurors were not pres-ent, Jenkins told Swapp he didn't have to testify. John Bucher, Swapp's lawyer, noted that he and co-counsel Bill Morrison told him it wasn't in his best interest to testify.
"I feel that truth has been the best defense," he said.
"This is what you want to do?" Jenkins asked Swapp.
"It all comes down to the same thing between me and my God," Swapp said. "I feel that I have a higher source that I can turn to."
When the jury returned, Butcher asked, "Did you bomb the Kamas stake house in Marion, Utah?"
"Yes, I did."
He firmly said he did not intend to hurt anyone in the bombing and knew nobody would be there at the time he set the explosives 3 a.m. on Jan. 16.
Why did he do it?
He said John Singer, the father of wives Heidi and Charlotte who was shot by lawmen in 1979, "wanted to stand on his God-given rights," supposed to be guaranteed by the Constitution. Singer battled for his rights for six years. "For this one simple issue, John was shot in the back," said Swapp.
He discussed run-ins with local officers after he moved into the Singer compound. These officers included Summit County Sheriff Fred Eley, whom he accused of having "a hand in killing John." And neighbors, whom he also accused of the same complicity, "undermined our spring, dried us up," he said.
Swapp's voice broke as he said Eley and a deputy threatened "that if I did not cease my letters against these people he would put me in jail, (and) I would never see my children again."
The night after the bombing, he said, the family heard police reports on a scanner monitor that made them think they would be stormed by force, with any local person who wished being allowed to help.
"We saw a helicopter fly over our house carrying a big bundle. . . . We thought it must be napalm," and the family would be bombed. An ambulance parked nearby, they saw officers' snowmobiles, and planes flew low.
Fearing death from the authorities, they thought they could not surrender, he said. "This people has been proven to be our militant enemies. We have never received justice from this system."
He described high-intensity lights officers aimed at the Singer home's windows and sirens "so loud that you could hardly hear yourself think. You put earplugs on your ears, pillows on your head, and the noise still came through.
"And these people were telling us they had concern about our children," he said. Officers shut off the water supply and electricity, he said. More than 100 flares were dropped toward the house from aircraft.
Swapp admitted shooting at the lights and sirens "because it was torture, not only for myself, but upon my wives and children. . . . Never did I ever try to shoot at any man."
He conceded he aimed a rifle at a low-flying helicopter.
The morning of Jan. 28, he and Jonathan, his brother, went out to milk the goat and give it water, he said. "Timothy (Singer, his brother-in-law, who prosecutors say is believed to have shot House) was yelling something" from the Singer house, he said.
"I didn't understand it at first. He yelled it again `Addam, Jon, there are (police) dogs!' All of a sudden I heard shots, and boy, I was hit." He said his arm felt like it was on fire.
"I looked down and I had a hole in my chest." Going into the farmhouse, "I asked Jon to give me a blessing, which he did by the power of the holy Melchizedek Priesthood and the power of God. That is why I am alive today."
Ward started his cross-examination by saying Swapp had never met John Singer.
"You bet I did," Swapp said. "I met him in dreams, and I met him in spirit."
Ward asked if he ever shook hands with him. "I will," Swapp said.
At one point, Ward said it was an FBI agent who stopped Swapp's bleeding. But Swapp replied, "I perceive Almighty God's hand in all my affairs." The agent was just God's tool, he said.
Ward asked who purchased the dynamite. "I refuse to answer that because I refuse to point fingers at other people. I am not fearful," Swapp said.
He admitted working out the design of the time bomb 87 sticks of dynamite and 50 pounds of another explosive called prell, about 130 or 140 pounds altogether. He rigged it with a 6-volt battery and a clock.
He kept the dynamite secret, he said.
When Swapp carried the bomb to the stake center, Ward said, "You didn't go alone, did you?"
"I will not answer that," he said. Jenkins then ordered him to answer, and Swapp again refused.
Ward asked whether he'd said truth was the best defense. "You bet it is, but I can't speak for others," Swapp said.
Later, asked again about others, he said, "I stand mute. The truth is within me. But it is not for your ears nor the rest of the prosecution."
During another break, with the jury not present, Jenkins warned that a witness not answering could be sentenced to priso for contempt.
Swapp said, "This has been thought out, and I'm willing to take the consequences of my actions."
Once more before the jury, Ward asked Swapp who was present at the bombing, and he again refused to answer. The refusal extended to nearly every question Ward asked involving other defendants.
He called arrest warrants "bogus felony warrants, which to me was a license to kill."
Ward asked whether he thought he had completed his mission when the stake center was destroyed. "That was just the beginning of the destruction?"
"Yes, it is, and you will soon see it come to pass," Swapp replied.
"And that's the destruction of church, state and nation?" asked Ward.
"In that order, yes."
Swapp called the bombing "symbolic speech" to alert people of the supposed murder of John Singer.
Not only did Swapp possess illegal sawed-off shotguns, but "I sawed them off myself."
He didn't see Jonathan fire shots during the last day's shooting.
Ward wondered what Swapp meant by telling a reporter the compound was "the last stronghold."
"It is the last place where God has established the stronghold," Swapp said. "It is where Zion will be brought together a second time."
He then read slowly from scripture.
Swapp added that the family has been victorious, because they followed the Lord's revealed dictates without compromise.
"One cannot compromise with wickedness," he said.
Once when Jenkins told him to respond to a yes-or-no question, Swapp replied, "I could sit down there with a yes or no button and just push the button."
Jenkins told him to push the button.
"I will answer it the way I answer it," Swapp said. "I will stand mute!" and he slapped the podium.
Later, he predicted, "God will come forth and cleanse this nation."