This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has decided Douglas Alan Yoakam, who killed a man and critically wounded a woman in Mill Creek Canyon in 1977, will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Yoakam, a gun dealer who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic with delusions, claimed at a Jan. 5 parole hearing that a prescription he was taking at the time is known "to cause people to go crazy." The 66-year-old inmate said if he had realized how the medication was affecting him, he never would have pleaded guilty in the case.
According to police, Yoakam accosted 24-year-old Karen Sue Roberson on May 10, 1977, at a picnic area and tried to handcuff her at gunpoint. As the two started to struggle, Justin Taufer, 67, stopped to help the woman.
After Taufer got between the two and took away the firearm, Yoakam retrieved a machine pistol from under the seat of his car and fired at least 14 times at the pair, police said.
Taufer died at the scene, and Roberson was critically injured but survived. Yoakam, then 28, was arrested later that day at his Salt Lake City home.
Yoakam pleaded guilty in 3rd District Court to first-degree murder and was sentenced to up to life in prison.
The parole board reached its decision late last week.