McFarland pleads ‘not guilty’
MANTI—With family members of the victims observing in court, Logan McFarland entered “not guilty” pleas Thursday to six felony charges, including two counts of aggravated murder.
The murders of an elderly couple living in Mt. Pleasant, Leroy and Dorthea Fullwood, happened almost five years ago, on Dec. 29, 2011.
But because of many twists and turns in the case, it took until last week for McFarland to face arraignment.
Accompanied by his attorney, Ryan Stout of St. George, McFarland, who has been in jail in Sanpete County since February, 2015, waived the reading of the charges in 6th District Court.
But McFarland’s attorney did ask Judge Marvin Bagley to go over the possible penalties for each of the charges.
Judge Bagley told McFarland straight up that the maximum penalty on the two aggravated murder charges is death.
There was a quiet gasp from one of the Fullwood family members when the judge said the word “death.”
McFarland is also charged with one count of aggravated burglary and one count of aggravated robbery, both first-degree felonies.
Prosecutors and law enforcement investigators say McFarland was trying to rob the Fullwood household to get money for drugs when he encountered the Fullwoods and shot them to death.
The maximum penalty on the first-degree felonies is 15 years to life in prison, the judge told McFarland.
The suspect also faces two second-degree felonies, one for burglary and one for theft. Those charges, the judge said, carry a 1-5-year sentence.
Those times could run consecutively, or be “could be stacked on top of each other,” Bagley told McFarland.
Even on the chance he is not convicted on the murder charges, his sentences for crimes in Nevada, combined with maximum sentences for the four other felonies, could keep him in prison until he is an elderly man.
Then there are the fines. Fines are not applicable to murder charges, which, upon conviction, almost invariably carry lengthy prison sentences.
But Bagley told McFarland he could be charged up to $15,000 in fines on each of the other four felonies. That would add up to $60,000.
However, Sanpete County Attorney Brody Keisel said surcharges and fees could be levied on top of the fines. Typically, those are about 85 percent of the fine amounts, which would bring the maximum financial penalty for the four felonies to $27,750 apiece, or $111,000 for all of them combined.
The hearing ended with the prosecution agreeing to and the court approving a motion to permit a Dr. Beverly O’Connor, a neuropsychologist from Ogden, to conduct a mental examination of McFarland.
Stout, McFarland’s’s attorney, said the examination would take at least a full day and would require direct contact between the psychologist and Fullwood. In most visits inside the Sanpete County Jail, contact is “indirect” because the inmate and visitor are separated by a glass partition.
Angela Hill, an alleged accomplice of McFarland who accompanied him on a crime spree in Nevada, was arraigned Sept. 21 in 6th District Court.
“Things are happening in this case,” Keisel said in late September. “Things are moving ahead.”