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The Utah Board of Pardons ordered a 26-year-old man convicted of killing a taxi driver and robbing him of $26 to wait another two years for a parole hearing.

The three-member board set a May 1990 hearing date for Kendall Northern, 26. Northern, who was 17 at the time of the New Year's Day 1980 shooting, was sentenced to two consecutive 5-year-to-life terms for guilty pleas to second-degree murder and aggravated robbery.Northern testified at his trial that co-defendant Robert Alan Phillips killed the taxi driver. The victim, who had seven children, was shot three times at close range and his body dumped on Ninth South and about 27th West.

Phillips pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. His next parole hearing date is in 2005.

Board member Paul Boyden told Northern there was "a tremendous amount of concern whether you're ready for release, or release at all."

The inmate, who has spent the last two years of his incarceration in the Duchesne County Jail after stints in Utah and Idaho prisons, said he testified against his partner and cooperated with police.

"Because of it, I've lived in the penitentiary the last eight and a half years with a snitch jacket," the burley Arizona man said.

"I agree at the time I was out of control," Northern told board members as his family cried in the hearing room. "I've grown up. I'm not the same person I was at that time."

But Board member Gary Webster said Northern had several drug-related incidents during his prison stay, including one last February, and was an admitted leader in a work stoppage.

And Board Chairwoman Victoria Palacios disputed Northern's claims that immaturity and drug use led to the killing and robbery.