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Deal Broken, Prosecutors Say In Urging Life Term For Hofmann

January 22, 1988

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Confessed bomber Mark W. Hofmann has failed to live up to his end of a plea bargain and should be incarcerated for the rest of his life, the Salt Lake County attorney’s office says.

Hofmann pleaded guilty Jan. 23, 1987, to second-degree murder in the bomDeputy County Attorney Robert Stott said that although Hofmann did submit to a series of interviews, he had failed to answer questions relating to the forgery and homicide investigations.

Prosecutors said that Hofmann set the bombs that killed Christensen, with whom he had documents dealings, and Mrs. Sheets, wife of Christensen associate Gary Sheets, to cover up his fraudulent business.

Stott said that Hofmann had, through his attorney Ronald Yengich, been asked to complete the interviews and had received extensions on several occasions, including last month, but had failed to comply.

″Two respected citizens of this state were murdered by Hofmann. They were not killed in a fit of passion, jealousy or anger; rather, they were killed pursuant to a deliberate, calculated plan spawned from greed and a desire to preserve a false reputation gained through deceit and fraud,″ Stott wrote in his recommendation to the pardons board.

″The victims of Hofmann’s fraud and crimes are numerous; the damages are staggering,″ he added. ″Hofmann has yet to make a full and complete answering of all his crimes.

″For 20 years, deceit, fraud and treachery have been inextricably etched into Hofmann’s personality. A few years of prison will not eradicate these vile and dangerous traits,″ Stott said. ″Only natural life will begin to adequately punish Hofmann and ensure that no one will be tricked, harmed or murdered by him again.″

The recommendation’s release came after the pardons board refused to continue a scheduled Jan. 29 hearing for Hofmann. The hearing already had been postponed once, at Hofmann’s request, from Jan. 8.

Yengich contends his client has complied with the plea bargain and any further interviews are unnecessary.

In filing the recommendation, Stott specifically cited questions about a third bomb, a device which police believe accidentally exploded in Hofmann’s car Oct. 16, 1985.

That was the day after Christensen was killed by a blast in his downtown Salt Lake City office and Mrs. Sheets died in an explosion outside her suburban home when she picked up a box addressed to her husband.

Hofmann, who was hospitalized for a time with injuries sustained in the Oct. 16 blast, refused to answer questions about the incident, Stott said.

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