The Utah Board of Pardons has refused to set a parole date for a man who once sent Corrections Director Gary DeLand a death threat signed in blood.

However, during a hearing Friday, the three-member parole board agreed to rehear the case of John Orin Wulfenstein within 10 months and urged him to demonstrate he can control his temper.Wulfenstein said he has wasted his life and pleaded for another chance to make good before he becomes "an old man."

"I'm 36 years old and I gave my whole life to little games," said Wulfenstein, who has spent nearly 18 years behind bars. "When someone attacked me, I attacked back. It got me 22 years in jail. I didn't win nothing."

He said some of his recent problems stem from frustration of what he claims was a false conviction for a pharmacy holdup while an inmate at a Weber County halfway house.

Eight years ago in open court, he threatened to kill the police officer who arrested him for robbing an Ogden pharmacy.

He said he planned to escape and had grown marijuana in the warden's flower bed. He has broken every prison regulation from refusing to get a haircut to illegally possessing 10 pounds of link sausages, the Utah Board of Pardons said.

But parole board members found little evidence of physical violence in Wulfenstein's long criminal record and said he may soon be ready for parole.

Wulfenstein was originally committed to prison in 1971 for a second-degree felony burglary conviction. He was twice released and later returned to prison for parole violations. In 1980 he walked away from a prison grounds crew and was later convicted of escape.

A 1986 parole date was revoked after Wulfenstein threatened the life of DeLand in a letter signed with a bloody thumb print. Wulfenstein said he wrote the letter after he was "locked down" for planning another escape.