Bigamist fails in bid for stay of sentence
Holm's attorney plans an appeal of the decision
ST. GEORGE A request to stay the jail sentence of convicted bigamist Rodney Holm until his appeals are exhausted has been denied by a 5th District judge.

A jury convicted Holm on Aug. 14 of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old, all third-degree felonies. He was sentenced to a year in the county jail with immediate work release, 36 months probation and to 200 hours of community service.

The conviction stems from Holm's religious marriage to his third wife, Ruth Stubbs, when she was 16 and he was 32. Stubbs was pregnant when she left Holm and sought custody of their two children. Holm, the father of 23 children, is legally married to Stubbs' older sister, Suzie, and has a second spiritual wife, Wendy.

Holm and his two wives are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which teaches polygamy as a sacred duty. The FLDS church is an offshoot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which denounced polygamy in the 1890s as a condition of statehood.

Rod Parker, Holm's attorney, has already filed an appeal of the conviction with the Utah Court of Appeals and said Friday he plans to file an appeal on this latest decision.

In denying Holm's request, Judge G. Rand Beacham shot down each of the arguments presented by Parker, saying he found no substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal of the jury's verdict. During an earlier hearing on a motion to dismiss the charges against Holm, which Beacham also denied, the judge said "the issues raised by the defendant's motion are substantial and his arguments are well-presented."

Holm, who lost his certification as a police officer for Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Washington County, began serving his sentence at Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane on Oct. 13. Most of those who live in Hildale and nearby Colorado City are members of the FLDS church. The towns and their residents have been the target of interest by the attorneys general of Utah and Arizona, who hope to open an office there to help women and others who want to leave the isolated communities.
Originally published Saturday, November 15, 2003