FARMINGTON -- Mark Anthony Ott's attorneys have filed a motion to withdraw all of his guilty pleas dealing with a fire that burned his ex-wife's home, the stabbings of her friend and daughter, and the death of 6-year-old Lacey Paige Lawrence.
Ott appeared in 2nd District Court on Monday with his attorneys, Elizabeth Hunt and Rich Gallegos. Before the hearing, his attorneys, along with Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings met with Judge Michael G. Allphin in his chambers for about 15 minutes.
Another hearing was set for March 12, when the judge will hear oral arguments from the attorneys on whether or not Ott should be allowed to withdraw his guilty pleas.
Ott's attorneys filed 108 pages of documents supporting their claim that Ott should be allowed to withdraw his guilty pleas due to ineffective counsel to aggravated murder, first-degree felony attempted murder, first-degree felony aggravated arson and second-degree felony aggravated assault.
Ott entered those pleas on March 14, 2004, for the Sept. 1, 2002, incidents. In exchange, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty for the aggravated murder guilty plea.
Rawlings said after Monday's hearing, "I cannot comment publicly (on our objections) on the motion to withdraw Mr. Ott's guilty pleas. We will file our written response in a timely manner for the motion hearing on March 12."
Lacey died Sept. 1, 2002, in a house fire started by Ott at the Layton home of his estranged wife, Donna Ott. The two have since divorced. She filed for divorce in June 2002 and had a protective order against Mark Ott.
Lacey was the only child of Terri Cook and Allen Lawrence.
Allen Lawrence and Donna Ott were dating at the time, and Lawrence and Lacey ended up at Donna's home for the night.
In the early morning, Mark Ott entered the home and stabbed Allen Lawrence multiple times. He then stabbed Sarah Gooch, Donna Ott's then-17-year-old daughter, as she tried to save Lawrence's life.
Six people were staying in the house for the night. Everyone escaped the burning home, except Lacey, who was alone in a bedroom.
A 12-member jury on April 2, 2004, spent seven hours deliberating whether Ott should receive life without parole or 25 years to life, with the possibility of parole, after a week of testimony from those affected by the crime. They sentenced Ott to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Utah Supreme Court in 2010 remanded the case to the district court only on the aggravated murder sentence.