A parole date of Dec. 22, 2006, has been set by the Utah State Board of Pardons for Robert S. Treff, who is serving a 1- to 20-year prison term for manslaughter in the Christmas Day 1986, shooting death of his estranged wife.
Treff made his first appearance before the board, which conducted its Friday morning hearings in the visiting room at the Young Adult Corrections Facility.Treff was convicted of shooting Jennifer Treff, 34, four times with a small handgun just inside the door of their Orem home after she refused to let him visit their two children. Child custody was a hotly contested issue of ongoing divorce proceedings between the Treffs, with the divorce to have been finalized just days after the shooting.
He was a former four-year Internal Revenue Service employee, having been released several years before the shooting of his wife. Mrs. Treff, also an IRS employee, continued working until the time of her death.
Treff was sentenced to one to 15 years at the Utah State Prison, where he has been since July 1987. The manslaughter charge was reduced from a second-degree murder charge through plea-bargaining arrangements, which kept his children from testifying on behalf of the prosecution at the trial.
In addition to the manslaughter sentence, a 1- to 5-year period was added to his sentence for having used a firearm a small handgun in the killing.
Board member Victoria Palacios questioned Treff about his well-publicized "Justice List," a handwritten paper found in his possession through a search warrant that listed names of a dozen individuals including his former IRS supervisor, his wife and a 4th District Court judge. Palacios wondered if the reports of contemplated revenge were the motive behind the "Justice List."
Denying the revenge factor, Treff said "I would just say that's a hypothesis."
Toward the end of the hearing, board member Paul Boyden told Treff that he had responded to questions and concerns with sharp, aggressive tones of debate. "I haven't heard one thing that sounds like remorse," Boyden said.
Treff countered by saying a 40-minute hearing doesn't allow board members to see his sleepless nights. "I'm not out here for show," he said. "I'm here to be honest. If remorse comes from a 40-minute thing, I feel you would not understand."
Treff acknowledged that he has been indicted on federal charges in connection with arson attempts at the home of an IRS director and at the Salt Lake IRS office.