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Slain wife called unrecognizable
Mother of Jill Allen breaks into tears on the stand

SHARE Slain wife called unrecognizable
Mother of Jill Allen breaks into tears on the stand

FARMINGTON -- Jill Allen died in a beating so vicious it left her unrecognizable, an assistant state medical examiner testified Tuesday in the trial of Paul Allen, who is charged with murder in his wife's death.

Maureen Frikke also testified Jill Allen died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to the back of her head.Jill Allen's mother, Andrea Myler, testified briefly Tuesday morning. She answered questions about where her daughter was born and grew up but when shown an enlarged photo of her daughter as she appeared on a driver's license and asked to identify her, she broke down crying.

Paul Allen, 30, is charged with capital murder as well as conspiracy and criminal solicitation, both first-degree felonies, for allegedly arranging the murder of his wife so he could cash in a $250,000 life insurance policy.

Police and paramedics who arrived at the couple's North Salt Lake condominium shortly after his wife was killed on Aug. 28, 1996, say Allen was fairly calm when authorities showed up.

When deputy Bob Bredsguard arrived to try to revive Jill Allen, her husband was in the kitchen drinking a soda with a friend.

"He appeared to be quite calm," Bredsguard testified Monday afternoon during the first day of the murder-for-hire trial of Allen in 2nd District Court.

It wasn't until later that night, when Bredsguard officially pronounced Jill Allen dead, that Paul Allen showed much emotion.

"He became very emotional, "Bredsguard said. "He started jumping up and down, running from side to side of the clubhouse, running and screaming."

Bredsguard was one of a handful of paramedics and detectives who took the stand Monday for the state's case against Allen, which is scheduled to last three weeks.

Allen's defense team, led by Ron Yengich, called prosecutors' version of the alleged murder-for-hire an "artful story."

During opening arguments Monday morning, Yengich said his defense team will show how the two men already serving prison time for their part in the murder killed Jill Allen during a planned robbery and then implicated Allen in the murder to lessen their punishment.

George Anthony Taylor was given a five-years-to-life prison sentence in July 1998 for killing Allen's wife, and Joseph Sergious Wright received two

zero-to-five-year terms for acting as the middleman in Jill Allen's murder. Both will testify Wednesday and Thursday for the prosecution.

"(Prosecutors) will attempt to sell you one side of the pancake and you're going to get indigestion," Yengich told the jury of six men and nine women. "Joseph Wright would sell anyone out to protect himself."

After opening arguments from Yengich and prosecutor Bill McGuire, jurors heard the 911 call Allen made at 10:53 p.m. after finding his wife's body. "Something's happened to my wife. . . . She's all bloody," Allen said.

Allen told the dispatcher he thought someone had broken into his home. Police, however, found no evidence of a forced entry.

Allen returned home the night of Aug. 28, 1996, after spending the day boating with family and friends.

But the whole time, prosecutors contend, Allen knew of the fate that awaited his wife as she returned from her job at a Crossroads Plaza department store. Prosecutors say Allen had been plotting the murder for almost a year.

Allen hired Wright as the middleman, who then paid $10,000 to Taylor to commit the murder, McGuire said. Taylor had backed out several times before finally beating and strangling Allen's wife after she entered her apartment.

Prosecutors say after Taylor murdered Jill Allen, he called Wright and said, "It's done."

Wright then called Allen's cellular phone at 10:25 p.m. and left this message: "It's done. He wants his money."