SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A man who bombed a Mormon church building in 1988 and sparked a 13-day standoff at a polygamist compound that left a corrections officer dead was released from prison on Tuesday after more than 25 years behind bars.
Addam Swapp, 52, was accompanied by family members as he left Sanpete County Jail three months after members of the state board of pardons and parole approved his release, saying he had shown remorse for leading the standoff in Marion.
At his September parole hearing, Swapp apologized and said he planned to join his wife Charlotte and wanted to use his freedom to live peacefully and "be a blessing to my fellow man."
"I desire when I get out of prison to live my life in such a manner that my family, friends, neighbors and community would find my presence in their lives a benefit and a blessing," Swapp said in a written statement, according to a transcript of the hearing posted online by The Salt Lake Tribune.
Swapp said he was a different man after serving time in state and federal prisons for manslaughter, attempted murder, possessing a bomb and other offenses.
"My core beliefs have completely changed," he said. "I am completely opposed to the violent acts I committed which got me sent to prison."
Ann House, the widow of the slain officer, Lt. Fred House, said Tuesday that she believes Swapp has had time to consider his actions, according to a statement obtained by The Deseret News.
"There has been much suffering by both of our families in the past years," she wrote. "Addam deserves a chance to reverse the damage done by doing good and now being an asset to his family."
In his hometown of Fairview, Utah — population 1,200 — a banner was hung from the porch of his family's house that said, "Welcome home Addam."
His family said he was set free just before 7 a.m., KUTV reported (http://bit.ly/10LFKUe ). His son, John Swapp, was ecstatic to see his father after so many years.
"I was the first one to give him a hug," said John Swapp, who was just 1-year-old when his father went to prison. "I think he is the greatest man in the world. I have a way high respect for him."
He said nobody should be afraid of his father now that's he out of prison.
"His attitude right now is to make peace with everybody" John Swapp told KUTV. "He doesn't want any trouble."
The standoff began after Addam Swapp detonated 87 sticks of dynamite at a Mormon church building in Kamas on Jan. 16, 1988. Swapp claimed it would lead to the overthrow of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and resurrect his father-in-law, John Singer, who was killed by police at the Marion compound in 1979.
Authorities said Singer was fatally shot when he pointed a gun at officers trying to arrest him over his refusal to send his children to public schools. Singer, 48, was a practicing polygamist and blamed the LDS church for his legal problems after he was excommunicated.