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Phillip Justin Guymon

UTAH STATE PRISON — As the parole board member described his crime, Phillip Justin Guymon tried to hide his tears.

He choked up, his lips trembled and he covered his face with his hands.

"I yelled at him and he fell, and that's when I picked him up and threw him towards the mattress. He hit his head twice," Guymon said.

The man convicted of killing 2-year-old Jayden Cangro in 2006 made his first appearance before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole on Tuesday. Guymon, 31, pleaded guilty to a second-degree child abuse homicide charge but was sentenced under a plea bargain to serve up to five years in prison as if it were a third-degree felony.

Cangro was crying and wouldn't stay in bed when Guymon, suffering from a migraine headache and back pain, beat the little boy and threw him so hard he went into a seizure and later died. Guymon blamed his temper along with being sick but said he didn't really have a "good, solid answer" for Cangro's death.

The boy's mother said Guymon was "clueless." Carly Moore described an abusive relationship and accused him of taking his anger out on her son.

"I think he's more sorry he's in prison than for taking the life of an innocent boy," she told the parole board. "If it was up to me, it'll be a life for a life."

Moore said she was coping in the years since her son's death. Her sister told the parole board that Moore would often sleep with Jayden's blanket in an attempt to comfort her. Guymon said he, too, has suffered in the aftermath, describing seven months when he was in a suicidal mindset.

"I admit it. I had a temper problem. I don't think I was taking the right steps to address that," he said.

Since he has been in prison, Guymon said he has gotten an education and is learning a building trade. He has also taken victim impact classes but denied being abusive. He said he would like to see the children he has had with another woman.

"I'd like the opportunity to get out and be a dad again," he said.

While parole guidelines often recommend only a two-year sentence for the offense level, parole board member Curtis Garner said it would not be unusual to make Guymon serve all five years.

"You need to prepare for the possibility of not walking out of here soon," he said.


E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com