PROVO — A mother accused of kidnapping her daughter the day before her wedding in an attempt to derail the marriage allegedly has a history of breaking up engagements — and that's testimony a prosecutor wants a future jury to hear.
Julia Redd and her husband, Lemuel Redd, have been charged in 4th District Court with kidnapping for allegedly taking their 21-year-old daughter, Julianna, to Colorado instead of Orem on Aug. 4, 2006, the day before she was to wed Brigham Young University student Perry Myers.
Now, prosecutor Curtis Larson is asking 4th District Court Judge James Taylor to allow him to submit statements from other women who say Julia Redd attacked, coerced and manipulated their relationships to stop impending weddings.
However, her defense attorney says the allegations are outdated and unrelated to the case at hand.
"I think it's nothing more than an attempt at assassinating the character of a client in an attempt to taint the jury pool," said Rhome Zabriskie. "The allegations are baseless as far as it relates to the charge of kidnapping."
One woman said that in 1972, Julia Redd tried to prevent her from marrying Redd's brother by lying to her about his intentions, according to court documents filed in 4th District Court.
"Julia Redd also sought to control the relationship by telling (the girlfriend) what clothes to wear when associating with (her brother)," according to the motion.
Even Redd's own sister said that in 1975, Julia Redd tried to ruin her impending wedding by creating doubts and fears in the sister's fiance. Julia Redd was only reluctantly invited to the wedding, according to the motion.
Julia Redd's older daughter was to marry in 1999, but when Julia Redd went to the fiance's work and called him the "son of a devil," he changed his mind and didn't go through with the wedding, according to the affidavit.
Zabriskie said he sees no reason why that information, some of it decades old, should be admitted and will be filing a response motion sometime this week.
Larson's motion, filed Friday, also included information from a caseworker who investigated a report of "emotional abuse" in the Redds' home.
In a later interview, Julia Redd said that there was "no domestic violence in her home" but admitted that she did slap her daughters on the face if they talked back to her, according to the motion.
The Redds were also in court Thursday for attorneys to discuss representation issues.
Both of the Redds had previously been represented by attorney Rhome Zabriskie. However, at a hearing in June, attorney Jere Reneer entered an appearance for Lemuel Redd, which concerned Larson.
Larson then filed a motion arguing that the Zabriskie law firm should be kicked off the case because it wouldn't be fair to Lemuel Redd to have his former attorney argue against him.
"There may not be a conflict identifiable right now, but in ... the heat of trial, many times conflicts arise," Larson said.
The Redds quickly waived any conflicts, which would allow both attorneys to continue, but Larson called the procedure a "deathbed waiver" and said he didn't think the clients fully understood the ramifications.
"The state is ... making these assumptions that they're in a better position to decide what's best for our clients than their attorneys are," Reneer said, stating there had been lengthy discussions about the waivers.
Taylor asked both attorneys to meet with their clients for more discussion and submit written waivers in a week.