Hearing for accused kidnapper postponed
By James Tilson
Dec. 21, 2017
MANTI—John Alvin Coltharp, accused of kidnapping his four children and obstructing justice, had his preliminary hearing continued last Wednesday, Dec. 13, because, according to Sanpete County Deputy Attorney Kevin Daniels, the ongoing investigation may lead to further charges against Coltharp.
Defense counsel Paul Frischknecht agreed with Daniels’ request to continue the preliminary hearing, saying this was an “unusually complicated case” and that he had not yet been presented with the full disclosure in the case.
Daniels explained to Judge Marvin Bagley that the investigation was still ongoing and that analysis of new evidence may lead to new charges.
Both attorneys suggested that Jan. 3, 2018, was a good date to which to continue the hearing. Coltharp, present in the courtroom, agreed with the continuance.
Judge Bagley ordered Coltharp’s preliminary hearing to be continued to Jan. 3, 2018, at 1:30 p.m.
Coltharp was charged in Sanpete County after he was arrested at a former family residence in Spring City.
At that time, he refused to tell police where the four children were located, even though a divorce court had awarded custody of the children to the mother.
The children were found in Iron County, along with two other children of Samuel Shaffer. Samuel is the brother of John Shaffer, the self-proclaimed “prophet” of a fundamentalist LDS offshoot called the “Knights of the Crystal Blade.”
Samuel Shaffer has also been charged with kidnapping and child abuse in Iron County.