SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that a man who would not testify against himself or his friend on murder charges can be tried for obstruction of justice.
In February 2007, Wade Maughan refused to testify against Glenn Howard Griffin at Griffin's preliminary hearing on murder charges in the early morning of May 26, 1984, killing of Bradley Newell Perry at a gas station just south of Brigham City.
Griffin is serving life without parole in Utah State Prison for the murder of Perry after his conviction in fall 2008 by a jury that decided against the death penalty.
The case was unsolved for 21 years until 2005, when DNA testing of a bloody dollar bill from the crime scene pointed to Griffin.
Maughan was also charged in 2005 with the murder as Griffin's accomplice but was found not guilty by a jury in June 2010 after serving five years in jail awaiting trial.
Maughan's case was based solely on a videotaped confession defense attorney Rich Mauro was able to convince the jury was coerced and unreliable. It actually featured Maughan saying to detectives, "Why don't you tell me what I did?" because he was a blackout drunk in 1984.
The obstruction-of-justice charge against Maughan was dismissed in February 2010 by a judge who found prosecutors couldn't prove Maughan's reluctance was meant to hinder justice in Griffin's case.
But the Utah Supreme Court, in a decision handed down Monday, ruled the judge was mistaken and the question of self-interest versus hindering prosecution was one for a jury.
Statutes of limitation don't apply while a case is on appeal.
Mauro said he advised Maughan about the high court's decision Monday. Maughan is living in Cache Valley, where he grew up, he said.
"He's doing fine," Mauro said, "trying to put his life back together."
Box Elder County Attorney Steve Hadfield said he expects a judge will set a hearing on the revived obstruction-of-justice charge but didn't offer more on plans for the case.
"They could say he's served enough time already," Mauro said of the prosecution's options with Maughan. "But that's up to them."