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Judge withdraws her offer of leniency to tax protester

A judge has withdrawn her offer of leniency to a tax protester following his filing of court documents that included an attack on the jurist's integrity.

Third District Judge Anne Stirba, in sentencing Rulon DeYoung to a prison term of up to 15 years last month, said she would recommend parole as soon as DeYoung filed proper tax returns. He also was told to pay $2,800 in back taxes.Now, in a minute entry made in DeYoung's court file, she has withdrawn the offer. The judge noted that DeYoung's recent filings indicate he harbors an "obvious unrepentant attitude and frame of mind."

Stirba is unsure what DeYoung's cryptic documents mean, but they appear to be "actions against the court," she wrote. They are titled "a declaration that the law does not permit impossibilities," and notices of fault and default. One document says Stirba is in "violation of oath of office."

Stirba had drafted, but as of Friday had not signed, a letter to the Utah Parole Board asking that DeYoung be considered for parole when he complied with the tax laws.

Now, the unsigned letter will gather dust in DeYoung's criminal case file.

"The court will make no recommendation of any kind to the Board of Pardons and Parole," Stirba wrote.

That means nine months will pass before DeYoung appears before the parole board to discuss a release date. Stirba's letter could have accelerated that process, especially since DeYoung's family and friends are in the process of paying his delinquent tax bill, defense attorney Robin Ljungberg said.

DeYoung, 56, was convicted in August of six counts each of second-degree felony tax evasion and third-degree felony failure to file proper Utah tax returns for the years 1990 through 1995.

At trial, the former Granite School District bus driver said he had determined through years of research that he was a "non-taxpayer." He also said he had a "good faith belief" he was not breaking the law.

Jurors disagreed, convicting him after 45 minutes of deliberation.