The Justice Files: No new trial for convicted killer

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FARMINGTON, Utah (ABC4 Utah) –  A district judge has denied the latest appeal of convicted killer Paul Allen. Allen has been in prison since he was found guilty in 2000 of hiring someone to murder his wife.

In 1996, his 24-year-old wife Jill Allen was found dead in their Woods Cross apartment.  Someone had beaten her to death with a baseball bat.

A year later two men, Joey Wright and George Anthony Taylor confessed.  They accepted plea bargains in exchange for their testimony that Allen hired them to murder his wife.

RELATED: Convicted of hiring a hit man to kill wife, Paul Allen maintains innocence

In 2000, a Davis County jury found him guilty of aggravated murder and was sentenced to life in prison with a chance of parole.

“I was sickened,” Allen told ABC4 in 2018. “It was the hardest thing to be, I had confidence in the system and my attorney kept giving me all the confidence in the world telling me everything was going great.”

Since his conviction, Allen has appealed several times.  But each appeal, including one that came before the Utah Supreme Court, has been denied.

Four years ago, his attorney filed yet another appeal claiming they’ve uncovered new evidence.  The appeal took several unusual turns when his then attorney was dismissed after missing several key deadlines.  Another attorney took over the case and tried to resurrect Allen’s appeal.

In late April, Judge David Williams ruled against Allen’s latest appeal by granting the state’s motion for summary judgement.

In his ruling, Judge Dawson concluded that Allen needed to “produce evidence which would reasonably sustain a judgment in his favor. Allen cannot make that showing.”

Allen now has another attorney working on his behalf.  Steve Homer said the judge’s latest ruling will deny Allen a chance at a hearing for a new trial.

“In that regard it looks like it is a set back,” said Homer.  “Judge Williams, up in Farmington, District Judge David Williams … said that he’s done with the case.”

But Homer said they plan to appeal the ruling in hopes of overturning the decision.

Jill Allen’s family could not be reached for comment.  But in the past they’ve gone on record convinced that Paul Allen murdered her.

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