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The state Board of Pardons tabled action Tuesday on a parole request by a man who killed his "good friend" with a knife two days after Christmas 1990.

Russell Michael Ontiveros, 38, was convicted of manslaughter in the steak-knife stabbing death of Jesse Roybal, 31, during a scuffle between the two men, who argued after Roybal grew angry because Ontiveros' stepson had used Roybal's telephone. Testimony in Onti-veros' trial indicated the two men socialized occasionally, and Onti-veros said Roybal was a "good friend."At a Tuesday hearing before the board, Ontiveros expressed remorse about the killing.

"He was a good person . . . I'm truly sorry," said Ontiveros.

Also present at the hearing were members of Roybal's family, who urged the court not to release Onti-veros. He is serving a 15-year term, of which he has done about 16 months.

"He should do the maximum sentence . . . he is a danger to society," said one of Roybal's sisters.

Board member Michael R. Sib-bett said the pardons board will decide within two weeks what to recommend for Ontiveros, who has been a model inmate and whose sentencing guidelines suggest he serve five years of his term.