UTAH

David Yocum, former Salt Lake County DA, has died

Jan 23, 2024, 7:00 AM

FILE: Salt Lake District Attorney David Yocum listens to lawyers address Judge Judith Atherton in a...

FILE: Salt Lake District Attorney David Yocum listens to lawyers address Judge Judith Atherton in a status conference regarding Wanda Barzee Tuesday. (Al Hartmann pool photo/Salt Lake Tribune, Submission date: 10/07/2003)

(Al Hartmann pool photo/Salt Lake Tribune, Submission date: 10/07/2003)

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Salt Lake County District Attorney David Yocum has died at the age of 85.

Salt Lake County DA Sim Gill announced Yocum’s death on Monday. The official cause of death was not released.

Yocum had a history of involvement in some of Utah’s most notorious criminal cases, as a prosecutor and defense attorney.

He became a part-time deputy district attorney “in the early 1970s,” Gill said in a press release. He was first elected Salt Lake County DA in 1986, and he would serve four total terms in that position. 

Bundy and LeBaron

Yocum “successfully prosecuted and convicted serial killer Ted Bundy of aggravated kidnapping in 1976,” Gill wrote.  That prosecution sent Bundy to prison for the first time.

Bundy came to Utah to attend law school at the University of Utah. As reported by KSL TV, he had already begun killing women and girls when he lived in Utah. A Florida judge sentenced Bundy to death in 1989. He died by electric chair in the same year.

Yocum returned to the Salt Lake County DA’s office in 1977 to work on the trial of Ervil LeBaron, a fundamentalist polygamist leader charged with ordering the deaths of dozens of people from other polygamist sects. LeBaron died in prison in 1981.

Joseph Paul Franklin

Yocum was on the opposing side of a prosecutor’s office when he was the defense attorney for Joseph Paul Franklin, who, in 1980, fatally shot two Black men near Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. In this case, Yocum defended his client against first-degree murder charges as well as federal civil rights charges.

Franklin was found guilty of a string of race-related murders. He was executed in Missouri in 2013.

Mark Hoffman

As Salt Lake County Attorney, Yocum oversaw other sensational Utah cases including that of Mark Hoffman, a gifted document forger who turned to bomb-making. In 1986 officials charged Hoffman with first-degree murder. He remains jailed in Utah.

“David was an advocate for bringing the District Attorney’s office closer to the courts to help the two entities work together more efficiently,” Gill said in a statement, “a vision that I was honored to help see through to its completion. David spoke his mind, never shied away from tough cases, and made a positive difference in this community.”

This story will be updated.

Other reading:

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

The Foundation’s 38-foot RV, customized with two private exam rooms, will travel around the count...

CARLYSLE PRICE, KSL TV

Free skin cancer screening program visits Park City

Local dermatologists will provide free full-body skin cancer screenings in Park City in an RV meant just to check patients.

17 hours ago

The best thing people can do to stay safe around bison is to give them space....

Kennedy Camarena

Caution: Bison ahead

Most people have to travel to Yellowstone to see Bison. Utahns, however, have Antelope Island State Park, where they can find bison.

19 hours ago

people celebrate the opening of the new facility in millcreek...

Eric Cabrera

New facility in Millcreek gives young adults a new beginning

Salt Lake County Youth Services opened a new facility. The new facility in Millcreek is the largest they have to date, with an additional 18 beds.

1 day ago

View of Salt Lake City pictured, governor is cracking down on denver sending immigrants to utah...

Aimee Cobabe

Utah governor’s office pushing back against Denver for bussing immigrants to Utah

Gov. Spencer Cox's office says that the City of Denver did not consult with them about sending immigrants to Utah.

1 day ago

two participants at the National Veterans Golden Age Games are shown saluting...

Michael Martinez

Around 2,000 volunteers needed for National Veterans Golden Age Games

Up to 2,000 volunteers are needed for the National Veterans Golden Age Games. This is the first time the games have been held in Utah.

1 day ago

A Biden-Harris campaign sign is seen among signs for other Utah Democratic Party candidates during ...

Eric Cabrera

Stealing campaign signs could get you a misdemeanor charge

Police say stealing campaign signs from your neighbor's lawn could cost you a misdemeanor, or even the right to vote.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

David Yocum, former Salt Lake County DA, has died