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Man convicted in 1991 murder makes 2nd pitch for parole

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A former Carbon County emergency services director who used a county credit card to buy thousands of dollars worth of items for his houseboat is going to prison.

A man who has served more than 20 years in prison for killing another man with a hammer is making another plea for parole.

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UTAH STATE PRISON — A man who has served more than 20 years in prison for killing another man with a hammer is making another plea for parole.

But as Utah Board of Pardons and Parole member Angela Micklos noted to Jerry Lee Robertson, 52, in a recording of his Oct. 23 hearing, he hasn't completed any of the classes the board asked him to since his parole hearing last year.

In 1991, Robertson and his now ex-wife, Cassie Robertson, were staying with Gerald Thomas, 56, a friend of Cassie Robertson. Prosecutors argued in court that the three got into a fight that night and the Robertsons plotted to kill Thomas.

According to charging documents, while Thomas was in bed, the Robertsons used a claw hammer to strike Thomas multiple times in the head. Jerry Robertson delivered 11 of the 12 blows, according to prosecutors. After the killing, the couple fled to California where they were later arrested and brought back to Utah to stand trial.

But during his most recent parole hearing, Jerry Robertson claimed they were all awake playing Monopoly and got into an argument over Thomas' drinking and his alleged advances on Cassie Robertson.

"He got all belligerent, tried to put his hands on me. And we got into a scuffle and things happened," Robertson claimed. "He pulled a butcher knife on me and I pulled a hammer on him."

"I didn’t mean to kill the man,” he continued. "I lost control.”

When Micklos questioned why that was never brought up in court or what Cassie Robertson, who testified against her former husband at trial, would say about that version, Jerry Robertson replied, "I don’t know what she would say. I don’t deal with her anymore.”

Robertson was ordered in 1994 to serve five years to life for murder and one to 15 years for theft. The court ordered the sentences be served consecutively. He was initially found incompetent to stand trial and sent to the Utah State Hospital. But it was later determined that he was faking his mental illness for two years at the hospital.

Cassie Robertson was convicted and sentenced to five years to life in prison for murder.

Jerry Robertson went before the parole board for the first time last year. He said he does not have a mental illness and is currently not taking any medications. When asked at his second hearing last week why he hadn't completed the courses the board had previously asked him to complete, he said he couldn't get in.

"I can’t just walk over there and tell them to put me in,” he said.

Robertson said he regrets his actions, but still contends he acted in self-defense. He told Micklos he knows he won't get in trouble again if he is released.

"I wanna go home. I’m not trying to spend the rest of my life here,” he said.

The full board will now vote on whether to grant Robertson parole.