The Justice Files: The Fishpond murder Pt.4

Justice Files

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – David Mead appeared before the parole board five-years ago.

It was the first time Mead offered details of what happened on August 15, 1994, when he murdered his wife. If it was a confession, some believe Mead fell short of a mea culpa.

 In 1998, a jury took three hours to find Mead guilty of murdering his Pam. He was sentenced to a minimum of five-years-to-life in prison.  Mead has been in prison for 23-years.

“I was a greedy, greedy miserable human being,” Mead said at his parole hearing.

Pam Mead’s family would probably agree.

At his 1998 sentencing, Pam’s mother looked directly at Mead and called him a “coward” for striking her daughter in the back of the head with a rock.  

“I couldn’t take my eyes off of him,” said Sinie Stokes afterward. “I wanted him to know exactly what he did.”

Mary Stokes, Pam’s sister, stood next to her mother as reporters converged on the family.  

“As long as he’s alive, he can’t do this to anyone else,” said Stokes.

At the sentencing, Mead claimed he didn’t do it and said biased witnesses testified against him.  He said his cousin, James Hendrix, was a drug user and Mead said he never solicited his help. Two women who testified of Mead’s plan to kill his wife were “spurned” women.

But at his 2016 parole hearing, Mead finally admitted he was there that night when Pam died. He said they got into an argument when he confessed to Pam about his infidelities. She responded by slapping him, according to Mead.

“And I pushed her away, I pushed her away from me,” Mead said. “She fell backward and I started storming away when I realized as I was about mid-way across our yard, she wasn’t coming up.”  

Mead said he returned to the fishpond and saw Pam drowning. But he made no effort to rescue her.”

“And I let her drown,” Mead said. “I stood there and allowed her to drown in front of me.  I can’t say why I let her do it.”

He later said it was all about greed and money and his failing business.

Mary Stokes also attended the hearing and spokes against his possible release.

“You always thought you were the smartest person in the room and you saw Pam as an easy target,” Stokes said.  “Maybe if this were a spur-of-the-moment crime, I could move past it and forgive you.  But you planned and calculated this crime for a long time.”

Howard Lemcke, the former prosecutor who tried the case and former Salt Lake detective Jill Candland who investigated Mead, also attended the parole hearing.

“I didn’t hear a confession,” said Candland. “I don’t remember him ever taking responsibility for murdering his wife for money.”

Lemcke did go on to write a book, “Death in a Fishpond.”  He said the outcome of the case was bittersweet.

“One of the things about a murder case, the state can never win a murder case because we took our loss upfront,” he said.  “Even if you get the killer executed, you’re not going to bring anybody back.” 

The Utah Board of pardons denied Mead parole in 2016. His next opportunity at parole won’t be until 2037.

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