A 26-year-old prison inmate serving zero to 5 years for manslaughter in the slaying of a fellow prisoner will serve the maximum prison time allowed, the Utah Board of Pardons said.
Daniel Carlos Lucero will be freed on May 13, 1993, when his sentence expires."I wish we had more than five years to keep you," board Chairwoman Victoria Palacios said Wednesday. "You're a very dangerous man. I'm sorry we don't have mega-time for you."
Lucero and inmate James D. Setty were convicted in the beating and stabbing death of Robert R. Wimmer, 24, on June 4, 1986.
Lucero beat Wimmer and Setty stabbed him with a homemade ice pick, board members said. Wimmer's body was then stuffed beneath his bunk, where he apparently bled to death from numerous wounds, including punctures to his heart and lungs.
Wimmer was serving 1 to 15 years for killing a girlfriend's 10-week-old daughter. The child died from brain injuries from a severe shaking. She also suffered blunt instrument trauma to her anus, according to court testimony.
"He deserved what he got coming, same as that little baby did," Lucero said of Wimmer.
Lucero told the board he went to Wimmer's cell to learn why he "killed that little child."
"I wanted to explain the situation to him, that he done wrong . . . I flared up," Lucero said.
"And where did you get your Ph.D. in psychology, Mr. Lucero?" asked Palacios.
"From working with people," Lucero replied.
"You sound proud of what you've done," commented board member Gary Webster.
"I'm not proud. I just didn't like what happened to that little kid," Lucero said.
"Would you do it again?" Webster asked.
"If it was somebody in my family, yeah," Lucero said. "I got to take care of them in my own way."
Lucero also told the board that he is a martial arts expert, and that he knocked an inmate out during a fight last week.
"The only way you know how to deal with people is by hurting them," Palacios said. "And you're a martial arts expert? That scares the hell out of me."
Lucero and Setty were originally charged with capital homicide. But inmates were reluctant to testify against the men and the two ended up pleading to lesser charges, board members said. Lucero was serving a 0-to-5-year term for burglary when the murder occurred.
Setty pleaded to a second-degree manslaughter charge and got 1 to 15 years added to a previous 5-year-to-life aggravated robbery term. Setty will not appear before the board again until the year 2013.