SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Steven Thurman was out to get Adam Cook’s father.

Unfortunately, the 11-year-old was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was May 1991 when Cook was waiting in his father’s vehicle in a Murray neighborhood. There was an explosion. Someone had placed a pipe bomb in the vehicle. Cook died several years later.

Shortly after the explosion, authorities arrested 32-year-old Steven Thurman. He was charged with aggravated murder which carried the death penalty if found guilty.

Authorities later learned Thurman was seeking revenge against Howard Cook for having an affair with Thurman’s former wife.

In 1993, he avoided the death penalty when he accepted a plea bargain and was sent to prison for life. But Thurman later appealed the outcome and it wasn’t until 1998 that the same sentence became official.

But Thurman wasn’t done with his appeals. In 2019, he again filed an objection to his sentence. In court documents, he claimed the time he’s served is more than what was promised to him when he accepted the plea bargain in 1993. The supreme court rejected his appeal last week.

More than 30-years after the murder, Thurman appeared before the parole board in late February. He’s had previous parole hearings, but each time the Board of Pardons denied his request for parole.

In the latest parole hearing, Thurman was again questioned about the motive. The exchange between Thurman and the hearing officer went like this:

Steven Thurman: “…getting even with him for having an affair with my wife.”
Hearing officer: “Getting even by blowing him up, right?”
Thurman: “Blowing his truck up.”
Hearing officer: “Not him?”
Thurman: “No.”

Adam’s father never believed that.

“Not reasonable that he actually mistook Adam for me,” Cook said in a previous parole hearing. “And the dispute that this is something to destroy a vehicle, why would you have nails wrapped around the pipe bomb?”

But Thurman insisted the pipe bomb explosion was never meant to kill anyone.

“I feel terrible about what happened,” Thurman said. “I am not the type of person who would hurt anyone, let alone a child.”

More than 30-years later, Thurman finally acknowledged the harm he caused to the cook family.

“I would just like to take the time to express my regret and sorrow over my actions, for the pain I’ve caused the victim’s family,” Thurman said at the conclusion of his hearing.

The board of pardons granted Thurman his release. He’ll be paroled in May 2023.