Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Carma Hainsworth: Accessory to Murder

originally published 6/18/2010
Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed today by firing squad in Utah. He had committed two murders, the second in an escape attempt from a Salt Lake court with a gun that was provided to him by a woman.

When I attended University of Utah, I worked for the Utah Boys Ranch as a counselor. Mostly that meant I worked with the house parents doing whatever they wanted me to do, watch the boys etc. While I was there Carma Hainsworth and her husband (I don't remember his first name) were hired as alternate house parents. At that time there were two houses open, and they would give the houseparents their time off by taking over at each house for a couple of days every week. They were fired after several months, and I am not sure of the circumstances of their being let go. I wasn't there when it happened.

A couple years after working there I was visiting with the house parent I worked with, and she told me of Carma's involvement in the Ronnie Gardner case. She had helped him with his escape which resulted in a lawyer being murdered, and a court bailiff being wounded. This took place at a court house where Gardner was on trial for another murder. Carma was later convicted of being his accomplice in the escape attempt, and everyone understood her to have gotten the 22 pistol to him with which he committed these crimes.

Sometimes who you know can haunt you. It happens that Ronnie Gardner's girlfriend was also Carma's sister. I thought it odd that Carma had been convinced by this guy to be involved in the escape attempt, rather than the girlfriend herself.

Carma Hainsworth
Well maybe my thoughts were correct, as Ron Gardner has admitted his girlfriend provided him with the gun. Carma was involved in the escape attempt, having a change of clothes prepared for the murderer to change into. She maintained her innocence with regards to the gun. In the end, witnesses could identify Carma, and not her sister, and as a result she spent eight years at the Utah State Prison.

I did see her once at the prison. I was there as a social worker for a completely unrelated case. I saw her and we said "hi" to each other, but that was the extent of our conversation. We recognized each other and acknowledged each other and that was it.

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