This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
An Ogden man who beat his wife to death in 1995 will spend at least another decade behind bars.
The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has set May 2026 as the next time Stephen Elliard Vargas will have a hearing during which he can ask again for parole. The 60-year-old is serving up to life in prison for the bludgeoning death of Rebecca Vargas, who was leaving him.
At a May 3 parole hearing, Vargas said he was mad and jealous when he killed his wife by hitting her in the head with a hammer, The Standard-Examiner reported.
Rebecca Vargas, 27, was found dead on Dec. 27, 1995, with multiple skull fractures outside an Ogden apartment where she had moved after separating from her husband.
The two had been divorced, then they married each other again in January 1994.
At a preliminary hearing in 2nd District Court, Vargas' aunt testified that her nephew said he would kill his wife rather than go through a divorce. And Vargas' brother said Stephen Vargas had approached him about killing his wife in exchange for money.
A jury found Vargas guilty of murder, and he was sentenced in 1996 to a prison term of 5 years to life.