Federal judge sentences defendant in Heisler murder case

Francis Lee McCard at an Aug. 8, 2016, preliminary hearing in 5th District Court, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of 5th District Court video pool, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A man involved in the brutal kidnapping and murder of a Santa Clara father was sentenced Monday in federal court.

Under terms of a plea agreement reached in February, Francis Lee McCard, of Washington City, was ordered to serve 29 years in prison for the murder of David Heisler in 2016

David Heisler and his daughter, Mariah, photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of David Heisler’s Facebook page, St. George News

In May, McCard, 57, was sentenced in an Arizona court to 46 years in prison. He was sentenced in Kingman, Arizona, because Heisler died on the Arizona Strip.

The state and federal sentences will be served consecutively, for a total of 75 years in prison.

A post Monday on the “Justice and memory for/of David Heisler” Facebook page referred to McCard’s sentencing.

“After today, he will go to Federal Prison for 29 years and if he lives through that, he can spend the rest of his life in AZ State penitentiary. Now we can rest assured he will not tear another family into pieces again!”

McCard and co-defendants Kelley Marie Perry and Tammy Renee Freeman are accused of kidnapping 30-year-old Heisler from his Santa Clara home in 2016 and taking him to a remote area on the Arizona Strip where he was either killed or left to die in the desert heat after being assaulted.

During the police investigation, McCard admitted to going to David Heisler’s home with the two co-defendants the morning of June 27, 2016, with the intent to “scare” Heisler, who had been awarded sole custody of his daughter, Mariah, two weeks prior.

McCard and Perry both reportedly admitted to tying up Heisler, assaulting him in his home, placing a pillowcase over his head and forcing him into the backseat of his car before driving to the Utah-Arizona border, where his remains were found weeks later.

The death penalty had been considered for McCard before he struck the plea deal in February.

Freeman was sentenced in April to up to 15 years in prison.

Perry is scheduled for arraignment next month in 5th District Court in St. George. She is charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary and theft, according to court documents.

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  • Carpe Diem July 17, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Good ending to a sad story. I hope Mariah has found a good home and comes through this ok.

    • comments July 17, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Wouldn’t call it a good ending. The meth scum get to stay locked in cages for a very long time. The kid is out 2 parents. Pretty sure the kid ended up with the grandparents. I don’t know what it is about these meth addicts. You’d think something could be done to prevent this sort of stuff. Meth heads need to be locked in cages for forced detox.

      • Kilroywashere July 17, 2018 at 1:04 pm

        Meth, or methadrine, permanently changes the brain chemistry. And although the brain is elastic, and can often recover from injuries, it appears damage caused by meth from excessive use is irreversible. Tweekers go back to the 80s, but back then meth was not as potent. With the increase of potency in the 90s, so came an epidemic of addiction. It used to be the biker gangs that primarily controlled the market starting in the 70s. Now it is manufactured by Mexican Drug cartels that still can source the pre cursor chemicals from places like India. Meth addiction is a disease. The cure is to secure the border and irradicate the supply chain. But the Dems don’t care about Americans anymore. They want to secure demographic voting superiority through illegal immigration. And likely they will succeed.

        • comments July 17, 2018 at 3:13 pm

          Not fair to blame all on dems. The R-party establishment filth love illegal immigration every bit as much. The hypocrites have only changed their tune recently bc trump has forced the issue to the forefront and made the rino filth R-party recognize the issues, which needed to be done–has needed to be done since Saint Ronnie Regan (bless his holy name). Meth will find it’s way here so long as demand is here. You’re oversimplifying the issue. Somewhat agree w/ you tho.

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