Utah prosecutors request execution of man on death row for 1998 murder

Utah prosecutors request execution of man on death row for 1998 murder
Utah prosecutors request execution of man on death row for 1998 murder

SALT LAKE CITY — State prosecutors are requesting the execution of a man who was sentenced to death in 1999 for murdering his ex-girlfriend’s mother.

State prosecutors filed an application for execution warrant Tuesday for Taberone Dave Honie, who was convicted of aggravated murder on May 18, 1999. Court documents state he was sentenced to death on May 24, 1999.

According to court documents, Honie killed his ex-girlfriend’s mother, Claudia Benn, on July 9, 1998. Honie broke into Benn’s residence in Cedar City by smashing a rock through a glass door and sexually assaulted Benn with a large butcher knife before cutting her throat “from ear to ear,” causing her to bleed to death.

Honie was 22, and the murder occurred in front of Benn’s three young grandchildren.

According to the state’s execution application, Honie appealed the court’s decision multiple times, but his sentencing was affirmed by the Utah Supreme Court in 2002 and 2014. A federal petition for writ of habeas corpus, which is a request to bring a prisoner before a judge , was denied in 2019, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his sentencing on Jan. 26, 2023.

Lastly, a federal petition for writ of certiorari, which is a request for the state Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision, was denied on Dec. 11, 2023.

“Honie has no pending action challenging either his capital murder conviction or death sentence. He has exhausted state and federal remedies challenging his conviction and sentence. Therefore, no legal reason exists to delay issuing an execution warrant,” the state’s application said.

Prosecutors requested the court lift an order from 1999 delaying his execution pending appeal and to bring Honie before the court “for the purpose of issuing a new execution warrant.”

The state submitted a proposed execution warrant along with the application Tuesday.

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