Thomas Edward Egley appeared in front of Seventh District Court Judge George Harmond for sentencing on Tuesday afternoon regarding the 1970 murder of Loretta Jones.
Jones’ daughter, Heidi Jones-Asay, stood in front of Judge Harmond, Egley and the court. With tears in her eyes, she recalled the morning that she woke to find her mother’s dead body.
According to prosecutors, on July 30, 1970, Egley murdered Jones in a particularly vicious manner. More than 15 stab wounds to her front, at least three in her back, a slit throat and slit wrists were most but not all of the injuries found on Jones’ body. ETV 10 News previously reported on the murder, a full documentation of which can be found by clicking here.
Carbon County Attorney Gene Strait stated that Jones was a vibrant, young woman with her whole life ahead of her on the night that she was murdered. It was also reported that Jones was a small woman, while Egley, at the time, was a strong man in his prime, according to the attorney.
For nearly half a century, this case went unsolved. Strait believes that this is a matter that should have been taken care of years ago. Egley had many opportunities to confess, according to Strait. It is believed by prosecutors that the only reason Egley confessed is because he felt cornered as the investigation continued.
Carbon County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant David Brewer worked tirelessly on the case for seven years, giving Jones-Asay hope for justice.
Strait pointed out to Judge Harmond and the court that Egley has spent the best years of his life as a free man. His ruling was that Egley should be incarcerated for 10 years to life.
Based on the investigation, this case could have been presented to a jury. The state was grateful for Egley’s confession, sparing the family the unnecessary pain of taking this case to trial when they have already waited 46 years.
Jones-Asay spoke to Judge Harmond and the court, recounting the horrible morning that she found her mom. Jones-Asay explained that she was terrified, in shock and alone. She expressed the pain of having her mother taken away from her by the selfish act of one man.
Jones-Asay informed the court that her mom was her hero that night. By not crying out, she spared her daughter’s life. In a statement, Egley claimed that he did not know that Jones’ daughter was in the other room.
“I always knew the name and face of the man who killed my mom,” Jones-Asay said.
With the confession, Judge Harmond sentenced Egley to be committed to the Utah State Prison for no less than ten years with a possible life sentence.
Egley will be delivered by the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office to the state prison. Egley was informed by Judge Harmond that he has 30 days from the day that the documents are signed to file an appeal.