RIVERTON — From within the walls of the Wyoming Medium Correctional Institution in Torrington, convicted triple-murderer Gerald Uden has sent a motion to withdraw his 2013 confession of having killed his ex-wife and two adopted sons.
It didn't take the Fremont County Attorney's office long to respond to the request.
Uden's motion was filed in Fremont County District Court on Thursday, and contains 19 clauses which allege that Uden did not commit the 1980 murders of Virginia, Richard, and Regan Uden; that he was, moreover, mentally incompetent at the time; and that his defense counsel for the 2013 arraignment and sentencing was insufficient.
Gerald Uden and wife Alice were arrested in rapid succession in 2013, for different murders. At the time, Uden confessed to law enforcement that he had killed his estranged family in September of 1980.
However, since the June 12 death of his wife, who was a convicted murderer and fellow inmate in Torrington, he has made multiple statements claiming that it was Alice Uden, not he, who killed Virginia Uden and her boys.
Alice Uden was convicted in 2014 for killing her third husband, Ron Holtz.
At the time of his arrest, the motion states, Uden "was afraid the authorities would also charge Alice with the murders of Virginia, Richard, and Regan Uden, and that he did not want that to happen(,) so he made an out-of-court confession to the authorities of those murders."
The motion goes on to cite Uden's claims of mental incompetence, saying that District Court Judge Norman E. Young "should have stopped the proceeding and pursued a preliminary determination of competency."
Clauses that follow also state that, outside of his own confession, the court lacked the proper evidence - to wit: "premeditation, deliberation, malice, aforethought, and proof of the element of intent" - and should have lost its jurisdiction to convict Uden for its failure to pursue these discoveries.
A total of nine out of the 19 statements attack Uden's defense attorney, Skye Phifer. Uden claimed he was burdened by a "defense attorney (who) can sit back and basically pass up presenting a defense and later raise the shield of trial tactics when through inaction or stupidity he has lost the case."
Uden also wrote a June 3 letter to Gov. Mark Gordon requesting exoneration, and as of press time, Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill had not responded to the letter on the governor's behalf.
Just a few hours after Uden's 13-page motion was filed, Fremont County Attorney Patrick LeBrun submitted a curt response, asking newly appointed Fremont County District Court Judge Jason Conder to deny the motion.
The state's response cites the Wyoming Supreme Court time stricture on appeals: convicts only have 30 days to appeal after a judgment is entered.
"The defendant's right to appeal expired more than five years ago," the Fremont County Attorney's document states.
Judge Conder will have the final say in the matter.