Our View: Weiler’s custody bill sensible
Mon, 06/17/2013 – 1:59pm
We support state Sen. Todd Weiler’s proposal that would allow judges to consider removing a parent’s custody rights to his or her child if that parent is a suspect in the murder of a spouse. The proposal puts an emphasis on protecting children during a situation in which one parent is suspected of the murder of another. The children are innocents in such a dire situation, and vulnerable.
The Woods Cross Republican legislator’s bill comes as a result of the murder case in which John Brickman Wall is charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Uta Von Schwedler, a University of Utah biologist. Prior to Wall’s arrest in April, Wall and Schwendler’s son, Pelle Wall, had tried to get younger siblings away from his father’s home.
From the Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — A hearing on the evidence against a Salt Lake pediatrician accused of killing his ex-wife has been set for October.
John Brickman Wall, 49, will have a three-day preliminary hearing in 3rd District Court starting Oct. 1. After the hearing, Judge Robin Reese will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to order Wall to stand trial on charges of murder and aggravated burglary, both first-degree felonies.
Meanwhile, the doctor has agreed to have his medical license suspended while his criminal case is pending.
From the Provo Herald Journal
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawmaker is working on legislation to allow judges to consider removing a child from a parent’s custody if that parent is a suspect in their spouse’s murder.
Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said he was asked to run the bill by the family of a Salt Lake City pediatrician charged with killing his ex-wife.
John Brickman Wall was not named a suspect in the murder of his ex-wife, Uta Von Schwedler, until a year and one-half after her body was found, but his three youngest children remained in his custo Continue reading
From the San Francisco Chronicle
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Salt Lake City pediatrician charged with killing his ex-wife has had his medical license suspended.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/18bXDAM) 49-year-old John Brickman Wall signed an agreement with the state licensing division on Wednesday to surrender his license and ability to practice until his case has been resolved.
The agreement states that if the charges are dropped or Wall is acquitted, his license will be reinstated.
Wall is charged with killing Uta Von Schwedler, a University of Utah biologist in 2011.
Von Schwedler was found in an overflowing bathtub with a knife under her body.
SALT LAKE CITY – One Utah lawmaker is creating legislation modeled after Washington’s Powell Act.
Washington state’s legislation came about after Charlie and Braden Powell were killed while visiting their father Josh, who was the sole person of interest in his wife Susan’s disappearance.
The law would allow a judge to decide whether to revoke custody to a parent if he or she is a person of interest in the other parent’s disappearance or death.
“These are sacred rights and I respect that. But in these unusual situations where one parent is suspected of murdering the other parent, I think that we ought to have a trigger mechanism where a judge could step in and maybe protect the children while the investigation or trial unfolds,” said Sen. Todd Weiler, R- Davis County, who is proposing the legislation.
Pelle von Schwedler Wall welcomes the new legislation. His mother Uta von Schwedler was found dead in her bathtub, and her death was ruled suspicious in 2011. John Wall, her ex-husband, was arrested in April of this year.
From the Salt Lake Tribune
With Susan Cox Powell and Uta von Schwedler in mind, a Utah lawmaker is pitching legislation that would allow a judge to decide whether it is in a child’s best interest to remain with a parent who is a suspect in the disappearance or murder of the other parent.
Senator Todd Weiler said von Schwedler’s three minor children remained with their father for 18 months before his arrest — despite suspicions of an older sibling, other relatives and friends that Wall had killed his ex-wife.
“It’s been very distressful to them that this individual, who they all believe was responsible for murdering the wife, has had custody of the children,” said Weiler, who met with the family in March.
The children were removed from their father’s custody in June 2012 after Pelle Wall, 19, sought custody of his younger siblings. But, two months later, a juvenile judge ordered them returned; the children stayed with Wall untilhe was arrested and charged with first-degree felony counts of murder and aggravated burglaryabout eight months later.
From the Salt Lake Tribune
Photo courtesy Nils Abramson
SALT LAKE CITY – The pediatrician accused of murdering his ex-wife at her Salt Lake City home will remain behind bars — for now.
John Brickman Wall, 49, declined to argue for the opportunity to make bail Monday after 3rd District Judge Robin Reese said he was unlikely to lower it as he is not the judge assigned to Wall’s case.
Wall is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail in lieu of $1.5 million, cash-only bail on first-degree felony charges of murder and aggravated burglary in the alleged 2011 killing of his ex-wife, University of Utah scientist Uta von Schwedler.
The Republic / Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City pediatrician charged last month with the 2011 killing of his ex-wife will remain in jail on a $1.5 million cash-only bail — at least for now.
Utah district court judge Robin W. Reese said during Monday’s bail hearing that he wasn’t likely to change bail in a case he doesn’t know well. Then, he announced he wouldn’t let John Brickman Wall’s oldest son, Pelle Wall, testify about why his father shouldn’t be left out of jail.
Brickman Wall’s attorney, G. Fred Metos, opted to withdraw his request to lower bail to $100,000 and wait to ask the judge assigned to the case, who is expected back from vacation next month. With state law only allowing one bail hearing, Metos said it made sense to wait.
SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake pediatrician accused of killing his ex-wife appeared in court Monday to ask for reduced bail but agreed to postpone the request.
Attorneys for John Brickman Wall had asked for a bail hearing to address their motion asking that the doctor’s bail be reduced to $100,000. But 3rd District Judge Robin Reese said he would not be making any substantial changes due to his relative unfamiliarity with the case.
Defense attorney Fred Metos indicated he would rather wait for a hearing before the assigned judge, Denise Lindberg. He said state law only allows for “one real shot at bail” and he wanted to take his case for a reduction to the judge who is most familiar with the case.
Pelle Wall, son of John Wall, the doctor accused of killing his ex-wife Uta von Schwedler, appears wistful outside 4th District Court in Salt Lake City Monday May 20, 2013. His father, John Wall, wanted his bail reduced. Pelle was going to ask that his father remain behind bars but did not get the chance. Photo Courtesy Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Salt Lake City pediatrician charged with killing his ex-wife will remain in jail on a $1.5 million cash-only bail.
Utah district court judge Robin W. Reese said Monday during hearing that he was not likely to change the bail without knowing the case. The attorney for the 49-year-old John Brickman Wall then decided to withdraw his request and wait until the judge assigned to the case is back next month.
Dr. John Wall at a May 20, 2013 bail hearing, which was postponed. Photo courtesy of KUTV Channel 2, Salt Lake City.