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Lodmell to stand trial in kidnapping

Judge gives Dec. 8 date after experts say she's competent


Kelley Jean Lodmell
Kelley Jean Lodmell

Kelley Jean Lodmell, the Salt Lake woman charged with kidnapping her granddaughter, is mentally competent to stand trial, according to mental-health professionals.

Lodmell, who is accused of snatching her 19-month-old granddaughter Acacia Patience Bishop from a relative's Murray home on May 25, has been found to meet the legal standard for competency. Lodmell was evaluated at a federal mental-health facility by two mental-health professionals.

The conclusion was that Lodmell understands the charges against her and can help a defense attorney with her case.

Lodmell, wearing a blue Weber County Jail jumpsuit, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba on Monday. Alba scheduled a two-week jury trial before U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball starting Dec. 8.

Alba told defense attorney Fred Metos and Assistant U.S. Attorney for Utah Barbara Bearnson that if any plea bargain is reached in the meantime, that information must be presented to Kimball by Nov. 24.

If convicted in federal court, Lodmell faces a possible sentence of life in prison. She also is charged with homicide in Idaho, according to Bearnson, but that charge has been put on hold pending the outcome of the federal case in Utah.

Federal prosecutors contend Lodmell kidnapped Acacia and took the toddler to Idaho. Meanwhile, Idaho prosecutors say that Lodmell jumped into the Snake River in Idaho with Acacia in a murder-suicide attempt that took Acacia's life.

Police in Idaho found Acacia's shoes, pacifier and doll, an adult shoe and two stockings on the river bank, and later found the other adult shoe down river, according to court documents.

The child has not been found.

Her parents, Adam Bishop and Casey Lodmell, still cling to the hope that Lodmell gave Acacia to another adult and that their child is still alive. A reward for Acacia's safe return grew to $500,000 earlier this month.

After Monday's brief hearing, Lodmell's mother, Linda Lodmell, said she never doubted that her daughter was competent to stand trial. "She was well aware of what she was doing when she did it, no doubt about it," Linda Lodmell said. "But there's no remorse at all."

Asked about a possible prison term for her daughter, Linda Lodmell replied, "It's nothing a mother would hope for, but in this case, at least she's got a roof over her head and possibly medication that she needs. I won't have to worry where she's at and what she's doing. I'll know where she's at."


E-MAIL: lindat@desnews.com