- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A Utah man sentenced to death in a 1985 murder case is asking for a new trial, claiming The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints interfered in his trial.

The Standard-Examiner newspaper in Ogden reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/1KI2An2) that Douglas Lovell says attorneys for the church initially tried to prevent testimony from Mormon officials who counseled him in prison.

Lawyers for the 57-year-old man say three officials eventually testified to Lovell’s remorse about the 1985 rape and murder during sentencing proceedings that took place after Lovell was granted a new trial in the case.

The jury nevertheless sent Lovell back to death row in April.

Church spokesman Eric Hawkins says the leaders don’t usually participate in non-church matters, but the officials were subpoenaed and gave personal opinions.

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Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net

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