SALT LAKE CITY — A man convicted of killing a Utah prison guard in 2007 lost a request this week to have his guilty plea withdrawn in the latest legal defeat for a man known for his neo-Nazi tattoos that cover his face and body.
In a ruling issued Wednesday, the Utah Supreme Court rejected Curtis Allgier’s argument challenging the constitutionality of a statute governing plea withdrawals. Allgier also argued that he received inefficient help from his attorneys when he pleaded guilty in 2012 as part of a plea deal that allowed him to avoid the death penalty.
Allgier, 38, has tried to get several court-appointed attorneys removed, filed his own briefs and intimidated lawyers by saying he knows people outside prison.
Two years ago, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Allgier had lost his right to an attorney after the repeated threats.
He is serving life without parole in the death of Department of Corrections officer Stephen Anderson, 60. Allgier fatally shot him with Anderson’s own gun while he tried to stop Allgier from escaping during a doctor’s visit in June 2007.
Allgier, who has a swastika and the words “skin head” written on his heavily tattooed face, was alone in a room inside a University of Utah clinic with Anderson after undergoing an MRI on his sore back.
Allgier fled, stole a car and led police on a high-speed chase before being disarmed by a customer inside an Arby’s restaurant, where police captured him, authorities said.
He was in state prison for a parole violation on convictions for burglary and escape and had been sentenced to nearly nine years in federal prison for a gun crime.
In its new decision, the Utah Supreme Court noted that the judge explained to Allgier what he was agreeing to when he took the plea deal. The court also noted that at the Dec. 5, 2012, sentencing Allgier didn’t mention his desire to withdraw his guilty plea.
Allgier said he mailed in his notice to withdraw his plea in time, but the justices said a review of incoming mail to the court and outgoing from the jail doesn’t back that assertion.