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JUDGE DENIES INMATE'S REQUEST FOR A PROBE OF `IRREGULARITIES'

A Utah prison inmate's request that a 2nd District Court judge order an investigation and prosecution of what he said are irregularities in his murder case was turned down Tuesday.

But Judge Rodney S. Page's denial of Thomas W. Randolph Jr.'s motion was on procedural grounds, and the judge told Randolph he could pursue other legal avenues, including requesting a grand jury investigation.Randolph, serving a five-year sentence for witness tampering, filed a writ of mandamus with the court asking that Davis County Attorney Mel Wilson be ordered to investigate allegations made by Randolph that Clearfield and Ogden police detectives coerced witnesses and tampered with testimony in his murder trial last year.

Randolph was tried and acquitted in the shooting death of his wife, found dead in their Clearfield home in 1986. Charged with capital homicide, Randolph was acquitted by a jury after a five-day trial.

After the acquittal, Randolph pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of witness tampering. Since his incarceration, the former Roy resident has filed a flurry of lawsuits, motions and other legal actions in state and federal courts.

Randolph said Tuesday he has written the judge numerous letters and telephones Wilson daily, trying to encourage him to investigate the actions of Clearfield detective Dick Martin and Ogden detective Scott Connelly.

The two threatenend and coerced witnesses in his trial, Randolph told the judge, tampered with evidence and testimony, and kept one key witness from retracting her testimony, he charged.

Deputy Davis Attorney Gerald Hess, acting for Wilson, said county attorneys and state attorneys general are protected from interference in their jobs. They have discretion on what investigations to pursue and when to file charges, Hess argued, citing numerous legal decisions protecting that discretion.

Page agreed, denying Randolph's request. But he told Randolph, who is acting as his own attorney, that if he has evidence of wrongdoing he may request a grand jury investigation.

In addition to the action argued Tuesday in district court, Randolph has filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea to the witness tampering charge. That action is scheduled for a July hearing.

Randolph has two suits pending in federal court charging violation of his civil rights and malicious prosecution. He also has a libel and slander suit pending in district court in Ogden against Connelly and Lori Tarnatino Syler, one of the witnesses in his murder trial.