Utah Supreme Court Denies Honie’s Request to Stay Execution

Utah Supreme Court Denies Honie’s Request to Stay Execution

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court has denied a petition for extraordinary relief filed by death row inmate Taberon Honie.

In a one-page order obtained by FOX 13 News Monday night, Associate Chief Judge John Pearce denied the motion challenging the execution warrant signed by a Cedar City judge last month. In the order, Judge Pearce wrote that case law “does not permit a defendant to use a challenge to the issuance of an execution warrant to raise constitutional arguments regarding the death penalty.”

The court said the trial judge did not abuse his discretion in issuing the warrant, but it also left a window open for Honie’s defense team to challenge the decision again if circumstances change. More arguments may still be pending before the Utah Supreme Court, but Honie’s options are limited.

Honie is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Aug. 8 for the 1998 murder of his ex-girlfriend’s mother, Claudia Benn. Iron County prosecutors say Honie broke into her home, slit her throat and sexually assaulted her with a knife while her grandchildren were present.

Honie has asked the Utah Board of Pardons and Paroles to commute his death sentence to life in prison. The board is the only body that can do so (the governor does not have that power under Utah law). A hearing on the matter is scheduled for later this month.