POINT OF THE MOUNTAIN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Robert Austin has spent more time behind bars than in society.
He was 16 years old when he and Michael Munson walked into an Ogden home and killed Edward Anderson. The victim was Munson’s grandfather and during a struggle, Austin stabbed him in the neck. Anderson’s wife was also injured during the break-in.
At 16, Austin was one of the youngest ever to go to prison. The 24-year-old Munson was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
Now 38 years old, Austin is a grown man and a convicted killer who says he’s no longer that 16-year-old and is anxious to get out.
“The first thing I want to do is get a– at least a part-time job,” Austin told his hearing officer at the state prison.
Austin said he’s been reformed while in prison and is still waiting to enter a drug treatment program.
He said as a 16-year-old, that’s what drove him to murder. During his first parole hearing in 2016 Austin spoke of his thinking at the time of the murder.
“I didn’t go into this trying to hurt someone,” he said. “I was a kid and high and all I wanted was to get more money. I can’t make excuses for what I did.”
Over the past two decades, Austin said he’s stayed out of trouble in an attempt to become a better person. He hopes to someday get his book published.
“My main goal and focus is to get all the books I’ve wrote (sic) over the years, I want to get them published,” he said. “But I’ve had a hard time doing that because I can’t get them typed.”
He said his book is not about the crime he and Munson committed but a space fantasy.
What is real, is his allegiance to a white supremicist prison gang and once having a shank in his cell.
But in his 2016 parole hearing he said the shank was for protection. Austin has spent most of his time in maximum where he said he’s surrounded by hardened criminals.
Now, the teen killer feels he’s ready to get back into society.
“As long as I’m busy, as long as I feel like I’m doing what I need to do, I’m going to adjust to society pretty easy,” he said.
His hearing officer said Austin still needs to go through a drug treament program before he is ever released. Austin said he has applied for the program but has been denied due to over capacity.
The hearing officer said the entire board of pardons will soon let him know if a parole date is in his future.