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Convicted killer of UHP trooper up for parole

DRAPER – A Utah inmate behind bars for 25 years wants parole. But the family of the Utah Highway Patrol trooper he killed wants him to stay in prison.

His spokesman, who refused to name himself, says Jason Pearson deserves release.

“We all change significantly and mature,” the man said. “I’ve seen him focus on becoming a better person. He got a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University.”

In his hearing before the Board of Pardons at the Utah State Prison, Pearson – now 43 – called himself a careless 18-year-old when he killed UHP Trooper Dennis Lund with his rifle on I-70 through Emery County in 1993.

He apologized to Lund’s family and friends who gathered for the hearing. But they and Pearson never made eye contact, as Pearson sat in front of them, facing board member Angela Micklos.

Pearson and most of Lund’s family and friend shed tears as Pearson recalled what he did 25 years ago, and two family members urged Micklos to keep Pearson in prison.

Lund’s father, Rodney, hopes Pearson was sincere.

“In that situation, you’d say anything to get out of there,” Lund said. “He’s not going to get up there and challenge us, or challenge anybody.

“He’s going to say the best things he can say.”

The Board of Pardons will issue a ruling in a month.