In our final conversation with Sandra Tanner, we’ll talk about the Hofmann trial/plea bargain. Would she have plea-bargained? What did prosecutors tell her?
Sandra: I thought it was a very curious ending to the whole thing when the prosecutors negotiated a settlement with Mark rather than having the thing go to trial. Now the question was if they took it to a trial, how many trials would there be? Because the prosecuting attorney said that if they would have gone forward, there would have been a trial on the documents, but they couldn’t prove a connection from the documents to the motive for the murder. And that if they had to do the murder separate, that they were afraid they would lose, because they wouldn’t be able to prove a connection for the motive to the forgery of the documents.
I talked with Stott, the prosecuting attorney about this afterwards one day, I don’t remember. I ran into him at some kind of history thing and he asked me what I thought would have been their chances of a conviction if they had gone forward? I’d have gone forward because yeah, I think you could have nailed the guy on every count. Because they were convinced that there would have to be a division of the trials on the different forgeries and the murderer, that it would be hard to get the death sentence. And if you’re not going to get the death sentence, then isn’t it better to negotiate a settlement where he has to fess up to everything and get that cleared off the table and give him life? Well he wasn’t actually given life. It was what, 15 to life or whatever.
We will also talk about her thoughts on LDS Church leaders testifying. Check out our conversation….
Don’t forget to check out our previous conversations with Sandra!
180: What Does Sandra Tanner think about Biblical Forgeries? (Tanner)
179: Jerald’s Forensic Background (Tanner)
178: The Cowdery Forgery (Tanner)
177: How Jerald Tanner Identified Fake Salamander Letter (Tanner)
176: When Mark Hofmann met Sandra Tanner (Tanner)