Norway Police ID Body |as Missing Utah Attorney

      COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The body of a man recovered from a Norwegian waterfall has been formally identified as missing Utah attorney Kent Richard Hart, police in Norway said Wednesday.
     Police spokesman Pal Mikkelrud said DNA samples and the fact that Hart was the only person reported missing near the Hivjufossen waterfall in Hallingdal led to the identification.
     Mikkelrud told The Associated Press that the body would be released immediately.
     He said Hart, 51, was killed when falling more than 20 meters (66 feet) on July 24 into the waterfall, which is 220 kilometers (136 miles) northeast of Oslo. He was part of an American tour group.
     The body was found Aug. 3 after efforts by divers and rescue teams with dogs had been hampered by bad weather, difficult terrain and strong currents.
     Hart worked in Utah’s federal public defender office since 2006 and served as executive director of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers since 2009.
     In his role at the criminal defense attorneys association, Hart advocated for an end to the death penalty. He represented several inmates on Utah’s death row. Last year, Hart testified at the state Capitol against a bill that brought back the use of firing squads in executions where lethal injection drugs were not available.
     He also advocated for Utah to overhaul its overworked and underpaid public defender system for representing the poor.
     “Kent devoted his career to ensuring that everyone charged with a crime should be entitled to quality representation, regardless of their ability to pay,” District of Utah federal public defender Kathryn Nester, who was Hart’s boss, said in an email Wednesday. “Kent’s death is a huge loss to the criminal defense community and our hearts go out to his family.”
     
     Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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