SALT LAKE CITY — A 70-year-old Herriman woman who tried to hire a hit man to kill her ex-husband — and then allegedly attempted from behind bars to arrange for an attorney and possibly a witness to be killed — was due to be sentenced Monday in the original murder plot.
But that didn’t happen. Again.
Instead, the resolution for Linda Tracy Gillman, who faces a possible prison term of at least five years and up to life, was delayed once more. Monday’s was the eighth postponement, court records show.
“We at some point need to drop the hammer on this.”
3rd District Judge Paul Parker
“We at some point need to drop the hammer on this,” said 3rd District Judge Paul Parker. The judge said he was reluctant to allow more time yet again, but agreed to give Gillman’s new defense attorney, Mitchell Olsen, time to track down friends, family members or others who view his client in a good light and would offer kind words for the judge to consider.
Her ex-husband, the target of the plot, pleaded with the judge to make Monday’s the final delay.
“I’ve got one thing to say,” said Duane Gillman, a veteran Salt Lake City bankruptcy attorney. “Please make this the last continuance.”
Gillman previously has refused to be transported from the Salt Lake County Jail for hearings, and some of the five attorneys she has retained one after the other have secured deferrals since April, when she was first scheduled to hear how the judge would sentence her.
Prosecutors did not hide their frustration.
Gillman “has had only one thing from the very start, and that is opportunity,” said Marc Mathis, Salt Lake County deputy attorney, saying Gillman had agreed to the previous dates at the time they were set.
But her defense attorney in court filings said he had taken on the case about three weeks earlier and didn’t have enough time to prepare for the resolution. He argued the state had frozen one of Gillman’s bank accounts, restricting her for a time from hiring an attorney.
Prosecutors countered in court documents that the “defendant’s delay in being sentenced is yet another tactic to manipulate the court,” noting Gillman previously had refused to appear at the courthouse six times.
Gillman, who represented herself in the case for a time, appeared shackled and in a wheelchair. She sat quietly during the proceeding.
Gillman is due back in court for the sentencing Sept. 17.
The judge on Monday didn’t take a chance on Gillman possibly failing to appear again. He ordered Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputies to use force necessary to make sure she attends the hearing, and if Gillman still doesn’t show up, her absence will be taken as her waiving her right to be present for the hearing.
A jury in March found her guilty of one count of criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony, but she was acquitted of a second count.
In January 2017, Gillman was charged with asking one of her employees — a man who also rents a condominium from her — if he could arrange for another person to carry out the murder and make it look like a drug overdose death, according to the charges. Instead, the man went to police.
She allegedly gave the man $5,000 and promised him $100,000 more once her ex-husband and his current wife were dead and she collected her ex-husband’s life insurance.
Attorneys for Gillman have said that in reality, the purported hit man approached her and was after her money.
Then, earlier this year, prosecutors allege, Gillman tried to hire a hit man once again from the jail, in order to have murdered the employee — the prosecution’s key witness in her original case — as well as an attorney, according to court documents.
She was charged with two more counts of criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony, and two counts of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, in a case that’s still pending.
The charges say Gillman requested an attorney in February bring a check to the jail. Gillman then filled out the check and placed it in an envelope addressed to “M.K.,” according to police. Jail officers intercepted the letter, opened it and saw the check made out for $155,000 to a family member of the inmate, according to charges.
Another inmate Gillman had allegedly befriended told investigators that Gillman offered to post her bail if she brought a confession letter, written by Gillman, to the former employee. If he refused sign it, she was told to contact a person not named in documents to “take the witness out,” prosecutors said. Gillman also wanted the inmate to ask the same person if he would be willing to kill an attorney who won a civil case against her, according to charges.
Last year, she was charged with approaching another Salt Lake County Jail inmate, seeking for him to take care of the man who went to the police. But the case was dismissed due to issues with witnesses.