Defendants in Bell beating case waive preliminary hearing

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Seven defendants accused of beating two men during a South Salt Lake party in July 2008 all waived their right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

David James "DJ" Bell, who is of one the alleged beating victims, two years ago was acquitted at trial of kidnapping two children from the home of the people now charged with assaulting him and his partner, Dan Fair.

Defense attorney Clayton Simms, who represents one of the seven defendants, said that a preliminary hearing — often used by the defense to preview the state's case — was not deemed necessary, in part, because of Bell's 2009 kidnapping trial.

"We have a lot of information available," Simms said. "We have a whole trial transcript."

Following Wednesday's hearing, Bell told reporters he is hoping for "any satisfactory resolution" to the case, but said he has not decided what that entails.

Bell said he would like to see prison terms handed down, but also realizes that some of the defendants are parents and he does not want their children to suffer.

"It's a no-win situation," Bell said, adding that he still cannot hear from his right ear as a result of the beating, and he owes his parents $100,000 for his trial defense.

Sim Gill, who was sworn in Monday as Salt Lake County District Attorney, told The Tribune on Wednesday: "I met with DJ yesterday, and I am very confident we are moving in a positive direction for all parties involved."

Bell was tried on two counts of first-degree felony child kidnapping and one count of second-degree felony burglary for allegedly taking two children, ages 2 and 4, from the home of his next-door neighbors during a party in the early hours of July 4, 2008.

A jury acquitted Bell, and his neighbors were subsequently charged with crimes ranging from first-degree felony aggravated burglary and aggravated assault to third-degree felony riot and misdemeanor assault.

When the mother found her children at Bell's home, she hit him, screamed obscenities, called him a pedophile and threatened to bring others to the home, according to charging documents.

Bell and Fair locked the doors of their home, but several defendants broke in and beat them severely with fists, feet and a variety of household objects.

Fair was punched and kicked by three men who struck him with a chair, frying pan and a TV monitor, charges state. Fair suffered a severe cuts, a fractured eye socket, a fractured hand, a broken nose and a concussion.

Bell told police he was pulled from his home, slammed to the ground and held down while one woman used a piece of glass to cut his neck and chest and another woman kicked him in the forehead, charges state.

Bell — who did not testify at his own trial — said during a post-acquittal news conference that he was partying with the neighbors and had gone home to refresh his drink when the children showed up in his yard asking for Kool-Aid. Bell said he gave them Kool-Aid and was preparing to take them back home when their mother showed up and assumed he had taken them.

The seven defendants are to be arraigned Feb. 7 before 3rd District Judge Robert Faust.

The defendants are Ieti David Mageo, 33; Ricky Peace, 34; Lulu Latu, 31; Angelina Dibella, 32; Marsha Finau, 31; Lisa Rita Aiono, 27; and Ieti Nuusila, 27.