A 2nd District judge Thursday sentenced a 26-year-old man to up to life in prison on his guilty-but-mentally-ill plea in the bludgeoning death of his wife.
During a mental status hearing prior to sentencing, psychiatrists who examined Duane Nelson Hobart determined he is mentally incompetent. Consequently, Judge Ronald Hyde sentenced him to the Utah State Hospital.Weber County prosecutor Gary Heward said Hobart will be transferred to the state prison to serve the rest of his five-years-to-life term if he is later determined to be competent.
On July 12, Hobart admitted to beating his wife, Brenda Hobart, to death on Nov. 15, 1987, at the couple's home.
Investigators said the man told police he believed his wife was involved in satanic cult activities and had attempted to harm their baby. Hobart also told detectives a bumper sticker on his wife's car was connected to the cult.
Police said an investigation turned up no evidence of the alleged cult or of child abuse, and that the bumper sticker was in support of Brigham Young University athletics.