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Draper • A man who was a boy when he shot and killed a classmate at Kearns High School in 2009 argued to Utah's parole board Tuesday that he is ready to be released from prison early.

Ricky Angilau appeared Tuesday before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole, saying he will do whatever it takes to get out of prison and stay out. Angilau said he does a better job controlling his temper than he did Jan. 21, 2009, when he was 16 years old and fired a bullet that killed classmate Estaban Saidi.

Board member Jesse Gallegos said that, as in many Polynesian and Mexican families, Angilau's parents told him to stay away from gangs.

"I'm just baffled at what happens, that an individual will put the well-being of his friends over the undivided attention of their family," Gallegos said.

Angilau, now 22, replied: "I was young, but I can't make no excuses."

On that day in 2009, Angilau and Erik Flores, two students at Kearns High School, agreed to meet off campus about noon to fight.

Flores walked away from the five-­minute brawl a winner, prompting Angilau's friend, Lolo Mataele, to fight Flores himself.

When the crowd of gang members stepped forward, Angilau pulled out the gun he'd brought to school that morning.

Mataele testified at a preliminary hearing in 2011 that he and Angilau were afraid of the gang members.

Angilau fired a shot in the air, then two or three shots to the side of the crowd, according to courtroom testimony, then a shot up and away from Flores, striking Saidi.

Angilau spent 3 1/2 years bouncing between Utah's juvenile and adult courts before being sentenced in the latter in 2012. At the sentencing, 3rd District Judge William Barrett did not give Angilau credit for time served.

Angilau said he plans to live with his parents, and that someone in an anti-gang program has a job waiting for him.

Gallegos said he considered Angilau's age at the time of the killing to be a mitigating factor. Gallegos said he would be voting for parole so that Angilau — whose sentence does not expire until September 2017 — can take advantage of programs available to parolees.

"But, Lord, it's almost like you have to stay away from your own family," Gallegos lamented.

Angilau answered: "If that's what it takes, I'll do it."

Angilau said a younger brother just left the prison. Angilau's second-cousin Vilisoni Tuino Angilau, 22, was sentenced earlier this year to up to 15 years in prison for manslaughter and a firearms charge for fatally shooting Sione Fakatoufifita, 19, at a Salt Lake City convenience store in 2013.

Vilisoni Angilau's brother Siale Angilau, 25, was fatally shot by a U.S. marshal as the 25­-year-­old lunged at a witness in federal court April 21, 2014.

No one from Saidi's family appeared at the hearing Tuesday. The parole board typically makes its decisions within a few weeks of a hearing.

Twitter: @natecarlisle