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‘He already got a break’: Granddaughter of slain couple requests natural life for killer

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The circle of relatives of a outstanding Utah couple shot and killed execution genre 37 years in the past through an 18-year-old guy desires the parole board to prevent retaining parole hearings and provides the killer a natural life sentence.

UTAH STATE PRISON — It’s been 37 years since Tammy Acord misplaced her grandparents in a high-profile double homicide.

But the ache her circle of relatives feels and the anger they have got towards the person who dedicated the heinous crime have now not modified.

“Most of us are so angry that we can’t even come to these hearings because we are afraid of what we would do, and that’s the truth,” Acord said on a recording of the recent parole hearing for John Calhoun. “I’m disgusted that we also have to return to those parole hearings.”

In 1980, when Calhoun used to be 18, he shot and killed O. Thayne and Lorraine Acord at their house in Ogden. Calhoun and a good friend had damaged into their area to thieve cash to shop for marijuana when the Acords got here house.

Lorraine Acord used to be tied up whilst Calhoun compelled Thayne Acord to visit his financial institution and withdraw $800. When they returned to the home, Calhoun additionally tied up the husband and put the couple within the basement.

A little while later, Calhoun shot each within the head at shut vary. Moments later, he shot each of them a 2d time.

Thayne Acord used to be a outstanding Salt Lake businessman and section proprietor of the Salt Lake Golden Eagles Hockey Club.

“They constructed parks, they constructed colleges they usually introduced nationwide sports activities groups right here to Utah, with out which the Utah Jazz nor the Utah Grizzlies could be right here lately,” Tammy Acord instructed the parole board of her grandparents’ accomplishments.

Calhoun used to be spared the dying penalty as a result of of one holdout juror who reportedly had issues about executing an 18-year-old. Instead, he used to be sentenced to 2 consecutive phrases of life in jail.

Calhoun’s first parole listening to used to be in 2001 and he used to be denied parole. Earlier this month, he went prior to a member of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole for most effective the second one time in 37 years.

During his listening to, Calhoun instructed board member Carrie Cochran his model of what took place that evening. He used phrases similar to “worthless,” “horrible,” “ashamed” and “sorry” to explain how he felt. But he additionally stated he’s not that 18-year-old who have been in bother with the legislation as a juvenile.

“I used to be simply a child, misplaced. Didn’t care about anyone. Just sought after to get excessive. Just nowhere to head in life. That’s about the place I used to be. Just a not anything.

“I simply sought after to do what I sought after to do. I sought after to head get excessive. I sought after to head hang around,” he persisted. “I’m no longer that little kid any more that didn’t care.”

Cochran famous that when a tough get started in jail, Calhoun has been a type inmate for the previous 30 years, finishing each life abilities magnificence the jail has to provide — two times — and incomes a number of school buddies levels.

Despite the strides he has made, Tammy Acord says the lives of many of us had been modified ceaselessly as a result of of the selections Calhoun made.

“It doesn’t matter what he did in here. Anyone that is forced to sit in a prison cell for decades can write a paper or two and get a degree,” she said angrily. “(There’s) no method for him to make up for this except for to rot in jail for the remaining of his life. … He already got a wreck, in my view, when he used to be now not put prior to a firing squad.”

Acord stated her circle of relatives is anxious that Calhoun will likely be launched because of jail overcrowding. She pleaded with the board to impose a natural life sentence, which means there could be not more long term parole hearings.

“I will be able to gladly pay for each unmarried meal, each piece of crappy jail clothes, each ’70s-style prescription glasses for the remaining of his natural life. But what I’m now not glad to pay for? I’m now not prepared for any individual else to pay for his egocentric selections the best way that we’ve got,” she stated.

Acord stated she learn thru each courtroom transcript of Calhoun’s case in getting ready for his parole listening to.

“It made me notice that evil as I understand it is most commonly egocentric, uneducated, spoiled, self-serving, silly, entitled folks making terrible selections that most effective get advantages themselves. He sought after one thing he didn’t have,” she said. “My grandparents had been murdered over cash for marijuana.”

Cochran complimented Calhoun on being “an outstanding inmate.” However, she, too, famous that the selections he made previous to coming to jail can’t be modified.

“Those issues by no means move away,” she stated whilst reminding Calhoun that section of the explanation there’s incarceration is retribution.

“I truly do not know what is going to occur,” Cochran instructed Calhoun about what the overall board will vote to do.

The minimal sentencing pointers for a case like Calhoun’s is 40 years in jail, she stated.

“But that’s now not sentiment of the neighborhood,” Cochran stated.

Cochran ordered a new mental analysis for Calhoun and a “paper assessment” in a couple of months prior to the overall board makes its resolution.

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