Judge orders 3 to stand trial in deadly Price house fire


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PRICE, Utah — Three people have been ordered to stand trial in the death of a man whose body was found in the basement of a house gutted by fire in Carbon County.

Seventh District Judge George Harmond ruled Friday there was sufficient evidence to bind over James Pendleton Jr., Michael Dees and Ashley Platt for trial on murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges.

Prosecutors say Pendleton beat 32-year-old Brian Swink, then Dees and Platt locked Swink in the basement of a home in Price last July.

Swink was still in the basement when investigators believe he started the fire that claimed his life.

But prosecutors argue he would not have died had he not been locked in the basement by the three defendants.

Investigators say the house was known for drug activity.

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