DRAPER -- A man convicted in the death of a teenage girl who overdosed on drugs in a suicide pact appeared for a parole hearing after a decade in prison.
Walter White told the Utah Board of Pardons & Parole he accepted "full responsibility" for the death of Samantha Mikesell back in 2006.
"I had a relationship with a 15-year-old girl," he said. "It started as a friendship. Eventually, it turned into a sexual relationship."
White told the parole board member hearing his case on Tuesday that when their relationship was discovered by her mother, he and Mikesell made a suicide pact.
"We both panicked," he said. "I didn't know what to do. She knew I would kill myself. Everything just snowballed from there. I got the pills, the alcohol, we drove into the woods and just took the pills."
White woke up, but Mikesell did not. Her body was found in a wooded area of Bountiful's Mueller Park. White was convicted of child abuse homicide, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, dealing in materials harmful to a minor and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced to serve up to 20 years in prison.
At his parole hearing Tuesday, parole board member Denise Porter pressed White on his acceptance of responsibility.
"You've had 10 years to think about that and so far, what I've heard is you've essentially had bad judgment," she said.
"Nothing justified it," he replied. "Everything I did was wrong. It was bad judgment. It was the worst judgment."
Porter noted that White had a sexual relationship with another teenage girl that he never faced charges for. She also said he had yet to undergo sex offender treatment in the prison, despite being a model inmate with no disciplinary action against him.
White promised to begin that treatment soon.
Mikesell's family was not present for Tuesday's hearing, but Porter said they had written letters to the parole board. He could serve 10 more years, or the board could decide to release him early.
"I don't want something like this to happen again," said White. "I'm responsible for somebody's death. I've changed other people's lives. I don't want that anymore."
The parole board will make a decision on White's release within the next few weeks.