A hearing on whether to rescind an August 1989 parole date for the man convicted of killing a Utah Highway Patrol trooper in 1974 was rescheduled for next March by the Utah Board of Pardons.

Convicted killer Emery Dean Beck, 36, on Friday blamed the crime on past drug use. He had been serving a sentence on drug charges in Wyoming when he was arrested."It was a terrible crime," Beck said of the murder of Trooper William Antoniewicz, whose body was found lying beside his patrol car in Echo Canyon. "I wasn't the same person then as I am now."

Although he was praised for participating in self-improvement activities during his time in prison, board members said they were concerned whether 12 years was long enough to pay for the death of a peace officer.

Ed Kimbal, a pro tempore board member, said that more information was needed before the board could make a decision, since there was little available on his condition after 1983, when his parole date was set.

Beck pleaded guilty to the crime in 1977, after his first trial ended in a hung jury. He told the court he shot the trooper, who had stopped him for speeding on I-80.