SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – David Defoe claimed he was a lost soul in 1977 and had no one to turn to.

Defoe was 20 years old when he murdered Carl J. McIntosh at his home.

He was eventually sent to prison for five-years-to-life. However, it’s been 45-years and Defoe is still in prison. Tuesday, he appeared before the parole board seeking his release.

“I was a very broken individual,” he told the hearing officer. “I didn’t have anywhere to go. My whole world was turned upside down.”   

Defoe was working at the Weber Basin Job Corps in Ogden when he met McIntosh there. After the 67-year-old man offered Defoe a place to stay, he moved into McIntosh’s home.

On that night in 1977, Defoe got into an argument with McIntosh. It became physical to the point where McIntosh reportedly pulled a gun out.

“He grabbed it and I grabbed him,” Defoe said. “When he grabbed it, I grabbed his hand and we really started tussling. I shot him.”

According to news reports from 1977, Defoe told police, “What I did, to me, was right. He took all I had.”

While working at the Job Corps, Defoe learned McIntosh may have killed his mother, and so he set out to avenge her murder.

According to news accounts, both McIntosh and Defoe lived in Topeka, Kansas in 1974. It is unclear if they knew each other.

That year, Defoe’s mother was murdered. Her dismembered body was found in a dumpster.

The younger Defoe pleaded guilty to murdering his mother and spent time in juvenile detention.

In a twist, he told police he wanted to “pursue the real killer himself,” and so he pleaded guilty knowing he would be out in a few years. In his mind, it was McIntosh who killed his mother.

While living in Ogden, McIntosh was driving a vehicle that allegedly left the home of Defoe’s mother moments after she was killed.

Prosecutors called his excuse a lie, stating that Defoe “is the one who killed his own mother.”  The judge agreed, according to accounts from the 1977 sentencing. The judge told him, “Frankly, Mr. Defoe, I don’t believe your story.”

At his parole hearing, Defoe side-stepped his motive for killing McIntosh.

“It’s something I try not to think about because it takes me back to a dark time that I never want to be in again,” he said, adding, “I wish it had never happened.”

Defoe was granted parole in 2015 but returned to prison months later for violating the terms of his release. He told the hearing officer that he found it difficult to adjust in the outside world and that he had failed to find work.

Now, Defoe is ready for a second chance at parole. He claimed to be a changed man, someone who now understands the sins of his youthful past.

“All my life, I wish I could go back and change it all,” he said. “It’s been hard to live with all that. Life is about steps, and hopefully the board sees that through the years I’ve been gaining those steps.”

Members of McIntosh’s family were not present at the parole hearing. A decision on Defoe’s parole is expected to unfold in the coming weeks.