Salt Lake City , Utah


Utah State Capitol, Heavy winds filled the valley air with dust Tuesday, March 30, 2010.

Draper , Utah

Mark Peterson

Salt Lake City , Utah

Utah v BYU

Salt Lake City , Utah

Butler v Syracuse

Salt Lake City – Butler vs. Syracuse, NCAA West Regional college basketball practice Thursday, March 25, 2010. Gordon Hayward (20)

Salt Lake City , Utah

Butler v Syracuse

Salt Lake City – Butler vs. Syracuse, NCAA West Regional college basketball Thursday, March 25, 2010. Butler guard Ronald Nored (5) Syracuse guard Andy Rautins (1)

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Salt Lake City , Utah

Mitt Romney No Apology

Mitt Romney speaks at the Salt Palace Convention Center during a stop on his No Apology book tour Saturday, March 13, 2010.

Draper , Utah

Back to Work – Men vs. Women

My first assignment back at work after the Olympics was a murder. A woman, Maralee Andreason, was found dead in her apartment. Police said it appears her boyfriend, Thomas Valdez (aka Jimbo), beat her to death. From the Trib: West Valley City police LT. Bill Merritt said Valdez indicated he was in the apartment alone with the woman and there was some kind of argument, but, “He did not flat out confess to anything.”

I photographed the cops standing around outside the apartment, but as much as I worked the scene, great photos didn’t appear. Not even a single shot worth posting here, and nothing that’s going to beat this portrait of Valdez taken by the jailers:


That was yesterday. Today I was in the state prison to photograph a parole hearing. I arrived extra early because it’s always a bit uncomfortable mingling with the families of convicts when you’re there to photograph their loved ones in a prison jumpsuit. There was one woman there when I walked in. She looked me over and said, “They let cameras in here?!”

Here are some quotes from the board as well as prisoners from a few of the hearings I sat through while waiting for the one I was set to photograph:

“You had a history of sexual offenses as a juvenile.”

“…a subject of sexual acting out while in the prison.”

“If we release you to the streets, what can we expect?”

“You were diagnosed with mood disorders, ADHD, and intermittent explosive disorder.”

“I don’t wait to stay in here until 2022.”

Here was an interesting exchange between an offender and a man from the board of pardons:

“What do you think you need to control yourself?”

“I really have a bad attitude towards almost everything. If I don’t get my way I get very upset.”

“What’s the difference between that and being a spoiled brat?”

A sex offender was asked why he said he had completed a treatment program when the staff said he hadn’t. He said, “I completed treatment but because of the sexual acts I’ve committed in here they say I didn’t complete treatment.”

More quotes…

“I thought she was taking female medication. She started freaking out and I didn’t want to let her out of the truck.”

Another exchange…

“I had a few drinks in the club. There was alcohol in the vehicle. I’m not denying these things. I had just been sober five years, and heavily involved in Alcoholics Anonymous. I had a slip, basically.”

“How long did your slip go on?”

“A year.”

“How many DUI’s have you had?”


At the end of the hearing, and after the victims/victims’ families have been let out of the room, the guards tell the inmate to remain seated and turn around. The inmate has a brief moment to say hello to anyone (like family members) who may have come to support them/see them.

One inmate had just one supporter, the woman who asked me about my cameras. She said to the shackled inmate, “I thought that other girl would be here…Your baby’s mama.”

He said, “Me, too.”

Then it was time for the hearing of Marco Herrera, a former counselor at West High School who is serving three 1-15 year sentences after pleading guilty to three counts of forcible sexual abuse committed on a 14-year-old female student.

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His victim was in the room, and this is Herrera as she tearfully detailed the damage done to her life by his actions:

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It was tough stuff to hear. The recommendation going to the board from this hearing was to schedule Herrera’s next parole hearing ten years from now.

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Draper , Utah

Marco Herrera Parole Hearing

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