SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Jose Orozco wants to be paroled. But he doesn’t claim to have problems that landed him in prison.
In 2014 he was driving to see his wife. She had a protective order but he still planned to talk to her.
“I was hoping to get back together,” Orozco told a hearing officer.
But as he drove to his wife’s home, he ran over Kelly Allred who was attempting to cross a street in Clearfield. Orozco fled but was later arrested by police.
“I didn’t see him, (police) said I did but that’s what they say,” Orozco said.
He admitted to manslaughter in a plea deal. He was sentenced from one-to-fifteen years in prison. But at the end of the hearing, the judge also ordered that he be deported upon completion of his sentence.
Thursday, Orozco appeared before a hearing officer. He’s eligible for parole after serving five years in prison.
Allred’s parents were also there and opposed his release. His father claimed Orozco got a “light sentence.”
“(We are) parents without one son, brothers without a brother, and most of all, I’ve got three grandkids without a father,” Max Allred said at the hearing.
At the Utah state prison, nearly fifty percent of those incarcerated are minorities. Reportedly, five-percent are undocumented.
It’s something that Kelly’s dad is mindful of. He said if and when Orozco is released he wanted him to understand the gravity of his crime.
“Not just Kelly’s life but how much he has cost the citizens of him being incarcerated in lawyer’s fees and everything else on his bad decisions.
Through a translator, Orozco said he understood the pain he had caused.
“I do understand and I do realize the damage I’ve cost,” Orozco said. “It’s done and based on my, the wrong decisions that I’ve made, I will have to carry this with me.”
When Orozco hit Kelly he’d been drinking. His blood-alcohol level was two times over the legal limit. But Orozco denied he had a drinking or drug problem.
“I drink here and there,” he said. “It’s not a problem.”
To qualify for parole, a hearing officer will attempt to learn how much progress an inmate has done while incarcerated. Taking self-help courses, like anger management and substance abuse treatment are part of the requirements for an inmate who seeks parole.
To date, Orozco has refused to take many of the self-help courses that are required.
“I don’t want that,” he said. “I just want to do my time and get out.”
As for his immigration status, Orozco said he didn’t think he would be deported.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
He told the hearing officer that he was a legal resident.
“I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life,” he said.
The hearing officer said she wanted to get his legal status clarified. Meanwhile, Orozco will remain in prison while the entire board of pardons decides whether he’s served enough time for Allred’s death.
ABC4 asked about Orozco’s legal status but was denied the information. A spokesperson with the Utah Department of Corrections said the information “was considered private to the individual.”