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With little fanfare, a jury convicted Raymond Jesus Marquina of aggravated robbery last week, and, because two or more people were involved in the crime, he faces 10 years to life when he is sentenced Oct. 9.

What's significant about the verdict, and Marquina's pending prison time, is that nobody from the Utah Fraternal Order of Police was there to witness the verdict.

In fact, there is no evidence that anyone from the FOP followed the case or showed any interest in the trial. And there was no FOP statement about it.

That is a far cry from the deep concern the FOP showed in a news release and subsequent media interviews when Marquina was let out of jail last October without the district attorney filing formal charges in a home-invasion shooting.

His release came just days before the November 2014 election, and the FOP was backing Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill's Republican opponent, Steve Nelson, partly because the Democratic incumbent filed a criminal charge against a cop in the fatal shooting of a 21-year-old drug suspect.

Gill had ruled that then-West Valley City narcotics detective Shaun Cowley was not justified in the shooting death of Danielle Willard in November 2012.

The FOP and other police organizations lashed out at Gill, accusing him of being anti-cop.

Steve Katz, the West Valley City detective leading the investigation into the Marquina shooting, had been to a campaign honk-and-wave event for Nelson around the time the defendant was released from jail.

What the FOP failed to mention was that the district attorney's prosecuting team had decided it needed more evidence than the statement of a co-defendant to win a conviction. Prosecutors faced the choice of filing charges without securing the necessary evidence or letting Marquina out of jail because of the Constitution's ban on incarcerating suspects for too long without a formal indictment.

Nelson, a prosecutor over the violent-crimes unit in the D.A.'s office, attended the management meeting when attorneys settled on a strategy to release Marquina while continuing to gather evidence against him.

Nelson didn't balk. Nor did Katz.

But when Marquina went free, someone leaked that to the FOP, which jumped on the anti-Gill bandwagon, exclaiming that he was letting a dangerous criminal out on the streets.

After Gill won re-election, the FOP seemed to lose interest in Marquina. There were no more statements about the threat of him being loose.

The district attorney's office and the West Valley City police investigators pressed on.

Marquina was arrested Dec. 19 and held in jail until his conviction last week.

FOP spokesman Ian Adams told me in June that the public criticism of Gill for Marquina's release was not politically motivated. But the timing of it may have dented Gill politically. Two other Salt Lake County incumbent Democrats — Sheriff Jim Winder and longtime Clerk Sherrie Swensen — won by landslides. Gill's victory was much closer.

Congressional Eugenics? • U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop has cast himself as a deal broker on public-lands issues, especially since he heads the House Natural Resources Committee.

The Utah Republican showed his diplomatic skills recently while speaking at the Western States Land Commissioners Association meeting July 19 in Moab.

"If anyone likes the Antiquities Act, the way it is written, die," he said. "I need stupidity out of the gene pool. And it is the most evil act ever invented."

Fighting words? • State Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, may have followed Bishop's lead Aug. 21, when he posted on his Facebook page a comment that seems to call for rebellion:

"Since our constitutional system still recognizes governing sovereignty in the hands of the people, perhaps it is more accurate to say 'we' as a whole are choosing and/or tolerating unconscionable and immoral people to represent our interests. The time is fast approaching that self governance and liberty will again be our primary concern (even more than life) as it was at the founding of our nation."