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ARGUELLES WANTS TO OFFER HIS LIFE IN REMORSE

Roberto Arguelles doesn't care how and he doesn't care when. He just wants to die.

His life, he said, is the only thing he can offer the families of the four people he kidnapped and killed four years ago."It's not that I don't want to live. This is all I can do to show that I'm sorry for what I've done," Arguelles told the Deseret News Wednesday during the only interview he has given to the media since his confession.

He doesn't think there's any way to change that part of him that is so angry and so violent that he kills for no apparent reason.

"If a dog goes mad, you put it out of its misery," he said. "I'm to the point where I feel it needs to be done."

Prosecutors, who charged him with four counts of capital murder Monday, seem more than willing to grant his death wish.

After spending 16 years behind bars, Arguelles said from a cell that prison has nothing to offer him but more grief.

"To me, it ain't worth it. . . . I don't want to live that way."

Arguelles admitted six days ago that he abducted and brutally murdered Stephanie Blundell, 13, Tuesday Roberts, 15, Lisa Martinez, 16, and Margo Bond, 42, while on parole in 1992.

Many, including his attorneys, are baffled at why he would confess in exchange for what are seemingly modest demands. He asked prosecutors to seek the death penalty, he asked to be moved to the newly created death-row cell block, he asked for a television, and he asked that the sexual aspects of his crimes not be disclosed in detail.

"We're still reeling," said Bob Steele, one of the attorneys representing Arguelles. For 10 months, lawyers "begged" him to consider other ways to take responsibility for his crimes - like asking for life with no parole.

Steele said it became apparent that for Arguelles, confession was the only option.

Steele, who feels it's his job to fight the death penalty, said the strategy of his legal team is simple: Arguelles will waive his preliminary hearing and plead guilty as charged to the four counts of capital murder.

Likely the only court hearing will be to determine whether Ar-guel-les lives or dies.

"To say it's an uphill battle, it's almost silliness," Steele said.

The soft-spoken and engaging 34-year-old inmate said he's thought about confessing almost daily since he committed the crimes.

"I struggle with `Do I want to lose everything, my life, my freedom? Or do I want to stop doing these things?' " Arguelles said. "I felt like (confessing) was the right thing to do. They say I ain't got a conscience . . . but I know right and wrong."

He struggles to get comfortable in the shackles that have been around his ankles so much lately that he says his legs are bruised. His hair has grown past his shoulders since prison officials last took his picture.

Arguelles said he's wanted to talk openly and honestly about his crimes since they occurred four years ago. Then he met Corrections investigator Jenny Glover, and he said talking with her helped him face his actions.

"It's been a daily thing since the crimes were committed," he said. "If it weren't for Jenny Glover, a lot of this (confessions) would never have happened."

"Nobody broke me," he added. "(Glover) was the one who's helped me work a lot of this out. . . . If they want to give credit to someone, give it to God for changing my heart."

Arguelles, once an athlete and outdoors enthusiast, said he felt like he could be helped before he was paroled in June of 1991. But programs for sex offenders inside lockup facilities are inadequate, he said.

"I think if there was a place that I could be honest about things," he said, "in a facility where sex offenders are isolated from (general population) inmates, maybe I could have saved myself over the course of 11 years."

He said therapy is "just convincing yourself of something . . . basically, you're denying that you have it (deviant behavior)."

Many of the therapists he said he worked with told him he was wrong about what he thought caused him to commit sex offenses.

"Sex isn't really what it's about," he said. "I believe it has more to do with violence and anger. Sex is a tool in some of my crimes. I don't think you consider killing somebody sexual."

He also believes that some of what makes him act out violently is genetic and unchangeable. He refused to expound upon that, but added that he had a fairly good childhood, despite beginning his life behind bars at age 13.

"I don't think I've really ever had any dreams as far as wanting to be something in life," he said.

Arguelles also wants his family separated from his crimes. "It's not their problem," he said simply.

Arguelles said he asked to be moved to death row because he feels like he should be there, with other people sentenced to die. He asked for a color television so he would know what the media is reporting on his case. He asked that investigators not disclose sexual aspects of his crimes because he said he didn't want to hurt the families of his victims any more.

What if the families want to know exactly what happened to their loved ones?

"I think they might want to know, but when they find out they won't want to know," he said. "I think some things are better left as they are."

As for what he believes to be his imminent death, Arguelles said he hasn't really given it a lot of thought.

"It's just another day coming - to me anyway."