Master forger and convicted murderer Mark W. Hofmann continued to improve Friday at University Hospital and was taken off a respirator he was placed on following a reported drug overdose.

Hofmann, 33, is serving a life prison sentence for the booby-trap bombing deaths of two Salt Lake-area residents and fraud convictions on forged documents sold to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Hofmann was taken by air ambulance to the hospital Friday afternoon after prison officers could not rouse him.

Blood tests performed on the comatose felon showed he had taken dangerously high levels of an anti-depressant, hospital spokesman John Dwan said.

Corrections spokesman Juan Benevidez said the prison medical staff had given Hofmann anti-depressants to help him cope with what the spokesman termed a "personal crisis."

A nursing supervisor said Hofmann was in serious but stable condition and was coming out of the coma. Doctors now believe mysterious "burns" on Hofmann's arm and side occurred because he laid on his side for such a long period of time, causing a loss of blood.