The Utah Board of Pardons has denied parole for a man convicted of second-degree murder for shooting his ex-roommate to death while on parole from Utah State Prison.
The board told 27-year-old Terry Wayne Perdue he will spend at least 20 more years in prison. The decision came after the victim's father appealed for a harsh verdict."There's not a punishment harsh enough for him," said J.D. Hermansen, whose son, Jerry Kadell Hermansen, 27, was killed by Perdue in October 1988.
Perdue had originally been committed to the prison in 1982 on a zero-to-5-year term for attempted forgery. He later was convicted of attempted escape and sentenced to an additional zero-to-five term. He had been out on parole about one year when Hermansen was killed.
Perdue contends the shooting was in self-defense. He testified at his trial that the two men had driven into western Salt Lake County the day of the slaying to shoot pistols and "snort some cocaine."
The two began arguing over a $110 drug debt, he said. Then, as Hermansen began loading shells into a revolver, Perdue felt he would be killed and punched Hermansen in the mouth.
Perdue grabbed for the gun and the two men struggled. Perdue shot Hermansen twice in the back and once in the neck and dragged the body off the road. He later traded the murder weapon to a drug dealer for $20 worth of cocaine.
"If he could murder for $20, he would kill again for $10," the victim's father told the pardons board. "He's a liar, a drug abuser and a cold-blooded murderer."
Perdue will not appear before the board again until October 2008.