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Centerville man who killed best friend won't be released until 2014

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 9 2009 8:24 p.m. MST

Christian Lance Halterman

Utah State Prison

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UTAH STATE PRISON — The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has decided a Centerville man will serve all but one year of his 15-year prison sentence for stabbing his best friend to death in 2000.

Christian Lance Halterman is scheduled to be paroled on June 3, 2014, said board spokesman Jim Hatch. His parole will continue until his sentence expires in June 2015.

"Sometimes with offenders who have been incarcerated this long, (the board) likes to have them on parole for a year or so, like he's going to be, to help them transition back into the community," Hatch said.

Halterman could be paroled in January 2014, if he completes an inpatient drug-treatment program at the prison, Hatch said. If he does not, he'll have to complete treatment as a condition of his parole.

On Nov. 25, Halterman told the parole board he was in a drug-treatment program in February 2000 when he confronted Kenneth D. Whittington about his manufacture and use of methamphetamine.

Halterman said the extreme paranoia that accompanies meth use began to work on both men's brains during the confrontation. He said Whittington got angry and accused him of planning to go to police.

"I believe he said, 'I'm going to … kill you,'" Halterman said. "Whether it was a real threat or a perceived threat, it seemed real to me."

Halterman said he stabbed Whittington four times with what he called "a dagger," then fled the trailer home. An autopsy showed Whittington had suffered 20 distinct injuries. He survived the attack long enough to call 911 for help.

Police arrested Halterman shortly after the stabbing and he later pleaded guilty to manslaughter, a second-degree felony.

Halterman told the parole board he and Whittington had known each other since they were 2 years old.

"I don't regret anything more in my entire life," he said about the killing. "Every day, I think of Kenny."

e-mail: gliesik@desnews.com

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