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JUDGE BARS COUNTY FROM TRYING LAFFERTY

If Ronald W. Lafferty goes to trial a second time for the killing of his sister-in-law and her infant daughter in 1984, the Utah County attorney's office will not be prosecuting him.

Thursday, 4th District Judge Cullen Y. Christensen granted a motion by Lafferty's attorneys disqualifying the county attorney's office as prosecutors.Christensen said the county had taken proper steps to protect the case but felt with so many deputy attorneys being former employees of Esplin and Weight it would be difficult to keep them entirely isolated.

The case likely will be turned over to the state attorney general's office.

Lafferty is charged with killing Brenda Wright Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter, Erica, on July 24, 1984. Lafferty and his brother, Dan, were convicted of the killings. However, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said the wrong standard was used in finding Lafferty competent and his conviction was overturned.