Convicted killer John D. Connor will get another chance at freedom after serving 31/2 years in prison.

In 1991, Connor, then 15, shot a friend eight times in the head at close range. He was certified to stand trial as an adult, and a 3rd District judge offered him leniency and a chance to turn his life around. After serving about 15 months in jail, Connor was released to a halfway house.He ran away from the halfway house twice, and the judge sent him to prison last May. At his parole hearing two weeks ago, Connor, 18, said he knew he'd blown any chance at leniency and expected to serve most of his one- to 15-year sentence.

But Tuesday the State Board of Pardons and Parole decided to grant Connor parole in January 1997.

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In an earlier interview with the Deseret News, Connor said hanging out with the wrong crowd doomed his efforts to change his life.

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