A man serving a five-year-to-life sentence for sexually assaulting two boys has been given his third chance at parole by the Utah Board of Pardons.
Barde Beckstead, 52, of West Jordan, given a Sept. 12 parole date by the board on Wednesday. At that time, he will have served 131/2 years in prison, one year more than suggested under state guidelines.Beckstead was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of aggravated kidnapping for forcing two boys to submit to sex at knife point, board members said.
He had already been convicted of sexual assaulting an 11-year-old boy and was free on an appeal bond when he was arrested for the same crime against a 14-year-old boy in 1975.
Beckstead's first parole date, set for December 1983, was rescinded. His second parole date was also canceled after he walked away from a halfway house and fled the state only a few months before his August 1988 scheduled release.
That escape was his second, coming about 10 years after Beckstead fled a state hospital. He told the board that in March 1988 he turned himself in to authorities after two weeks because he realized he had made a mistake.
There was little discussion Wednesday of his crimes, although Beckstead said he sometimes has a quick temper. "I've done some pretty mean things in my life," he said.
He also pledged to stay out of prison once he's released. "For as much as my word means, I ain't getting in no more trouble," Beckstead said.
A report from his prison caseworker advised setting a parole date for Beckstead, noting that he had not been cited for violent behavior in prison since 1983, board members said.