SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Aleksandre Mallaev claimed it was panic that caused him to stab a woman 17-times.
He was convicted of Michelle Turner’s murder in 1997 and was sent to prison for up to life.
After 24-years, Mallaev is up for parole and appeared before a hearing officer with the Utah Board of Pardons.
“I panicked,” he told the hearing officer. “I didn’t mean to do nothing. We had an argument.”
It was the first time Mallaev opened up about the January 1996 murder at a Salt Lake County apartment.
Inside the apartment, they found the body of 22-year old Turner lying in a pool of blood. She was stabbed to death.
Authorities soon learned Turner, who was married, was trying to end an affair with Mallaev. The two were co-workers at a local convenience store. She was helping Mallaev move into a new apartment as a way to bring calm to the breakup.
“I didn’t decide (to murder),” he said. “It just happened. I didn’t want to do something like that. It just blew me out.”
Their affair lasted several months before Mallaev claimed Turner’s temper drove him to the edge.
A 13-year old girl and Turner’s infant daughter were in the apartment when she was murdered.
The teen told authorities she heard Turner say “please Alex, no more.” But he responded by stabbing her in the neck. According to news court records, neighbors heard “screaming, crying and a thud” from the apartment.
“The more I stabbed her the more panicked I (was),” he said. “Her last words I remember is I am sorry.”
What puzzled the hearing officer was how Mallaev turned so violent so quickly. The murder was his only blemish of criminal history.
“Like I say, I wasn’t thinking clearly,” he said. “I am still stressing out about all this stuff that happened.”
After murdering Turner, he turned the knife on himself. He realized what he had done and wanted to end his own life.
“I feared there was nothing left for me after that,” he said.
But he survived and was convicted. He was sentenced from 5-years to life in prison. He is now eligible for parole.
But Turner’s family doesn’t want that. They were present for the parole hearing that was held via a video link.
Her husband said he forgave his wife but not Mallaev because the pain he caused never will end.
“25-years seems like a long time,” Alan Turner said during the parole hearing. But for me, it seems like yesterday, the torment never ends. If he’s released now, Alex will have many years left and a chance at a normal life. Something we will never have.”
Michelle’s mother also was present. She spoke about the viciousness of Mallaev’s attack on her daughter. She reminded the hearing officer that Mallaev continued to stab her and when the blade broke, Mallaev grabbed another knife and continued to stab her daughter.
“She was my best friend,” said Bonnie Goodrich. “She was my daughter. But she was my best friend and he took her from me.”
Mallaev did offer an apology to Turner’s family and the victims who were at the apartment that day.
Since his incarceration, Mallaev has been a model prisoner. The Utah Board of Pardons noted that and felt he had paid for his crime. He was granted parole on March 31. But hearing officer Greg Johnson said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has a hold on his release. He reminded Mallaev he will have to come before an immigration judge to determine his status in the U.S.