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Not guilty plea in Alpine hostage case

PROVO — A man who allegedly posed as a census worker and held a couple hostage in their Alpine home pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Wednesday to several felonies.

Tyler Archuleta, 37, of Price, is charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated kidnapping, all first-degree felonies. He also faces charges of terroristic threats, a second-degree felony, and forgery, a third-degree felony.

His new attorney, Marshall Witt, filed notice Monday in 4th District Court of his intention to claim that Archuleta has "diminished mental capacity." Witt declined to say what kind of mental illness or medical condition Archuleta has.

In a preliminary hearing in October, the president of a Cottonwood Heights materials transportation company testified that Archuleta showed him a fake U.S. Census Bureau ID and then pulled a gun on him when he returned home from work on Sept. 22.

Archuleta allegedly demanded $100 million and forced Allen Alexander and his wife into their bedroom, telling them he had placed C-4 plastic explosives on their home and at the company's offices.

But their 15-year-old daughter was quietly calling police and directing them to the home. Officers arrested Archuleta as he tried to make the couple drive him away.

Archuleta's trucking company had past dealings with Alexander's company, Savage Services Corp. Witt said those dealings totaled tens of millions of dollars, but he declined to elaborate.

A trial date has not been set pending a mental-health evaluation of Archuleta.

— Paul Koepp