The sister of a man shot to death in a bar brawl surprised the Board of Pardons by publicly forgiving an accomplice to the murder.
"I want everyone to understand and learn from this. I don't hate the people who killed my brother, but I don't condone what they did," Debra Lutz said Wednesday during a parole hearing for convicted killer Savelio Fuga.The board nevertheless refused to set a parole date for Fuga, choosing instead to rehear his case after he has serve five years in prison.
Fuga is serving one to 15 years for attempted murder and two zero- to five-year terms for aggravated assault. He will appear before the board again in March 1992.
Lutz is the sister of Silver Spur tavern bouncer Michael Ray Brown, 31, who was shot and killed Dec. 20, 1987.
Addressing Fuga directly during the hearing, she said: "I know you're going through a lot of pain. We're going through a lot of pain. But sometimes things happen that you can't control. I know my brother is forgiving you, because he was that kind of a person. But most of all, you have to forgive yourself."
"Your remarks have certainly demonstrated the variety of responses to human tragedy - and yours are on the higher end of the scale," board Chairwoman Victoria Palacios said.
"I'm moved as well at the role you've shown as a victim," board member Gary Webster said. "We don't often hear comments of this nature."
Fuga, 28, and two other Provo men, Lene Malae Tuailili, 22, and Ranale Mane, 27, originally were charged with capital murder.
Mane did the actual shooting, killing Brown and wounding two customers with a handgun. Tuailili went into the bar beforehand and apparently scouted the situation for Mane. Fuga supplied the weapon and drove the getaway vehicle.
The shooting apparently stemmed from an argument with a bar employee earlier in the evening that ended with Fuga and Mane being ejected from the premises.
Mane returned about 1 a.m., apparently gunning for bouncer Tom Tromley. Brown, who was not working at the time of the original altercation, was shot when he stepped between Mane and Tromley.
Fuga said he went along with Mane only because Mane threatened him.
"He overpowered me," Fuga told the board. "He said he was going to kill somebody, and said he would kill me, too."
Tuailili, serving one to 15 years for manslaughter, appeared before the parole board earlier this month and will again in December 1994, after seven years in prison.
Mane, who was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder, has not yet appeared before the parole board.