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A Utah woman who has been behind bars for a decade for killing her boyfriend during an argument over a pagan religious ceremony is slated to be paroled from prison this fall.
The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole last week set a release date of Nov. 11 for Monika Ann Dilmaghanian, who has been serving a sentence of up to life in prison. The 44-year-old woman fatally stabbed Nathan D. Harris on April 6, 2007, at a campground near Ogden.
At a May 30 parole hearing, Dilmaghanian said she was drunk most of the time and "not functional at all" during the period leading up to the crime. During her prison stint, she said, she has been sober and taken numerous life skills classes.
Frank Glasscock, who says he was Harris' best friend, said Monday that he thinks it is too soon to release Dilmaghanian. At the parole hearing, he said Dilmaghanian who stabbed her 24-year-old boyfriend in front of her three children, ages 8, 9 and 10 had done "a heinous thing."
Dilmaghanian was charged in 2nd District Court with one count of first-degree felony murder and three counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, a third-degree felony. She pleaded guilty in August 2007 to the murder charge and the other counts were dropped.
At the parole hearing, Dilmaghanian said she pleaded guilty to murder because she did not want to cause Harris' family members any more pain by putting them through a trial. Her defense attorney said at the time that he believed his client was guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter.
Second District Judge Ernie Jones imposed a prison term of 15 years to life, the sentence required under law for a murder conviction. The judge wrote a letter to the parole board after the sentencing indicating the offense was a classic case of manslaughter and asking for leniency for Dilmaghanian, according to a hearing officer for the parole board.
Prosecutors said Dilmaghanian argued with Harris at Weber Memorial Park because she felt he had improperly performed a "cleansing ceremony" on a knife he had recently acquired. Charging documents said she stabbed Harris once in the heart with another knife she wore in a scabbard around her neck.