SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Luke Dollahite was a loner, kept to himself, and was suicidal.
“I had been thinking of killing myself for a while but I just, I couldn’t do it.” Dollahite said during his recent parole hearing.
In 2016, Dollahite was in his first year at Mountain View High School in Orem. He said his life was spinning out of control and each day was the same as before: dreary and hopeless.
“I went to school every day and nobody noticed,” he said. “Nobody cared.”
His lack of interest in life was reflected in his school work. He was failing classes and never talked with anyone about his problems, not even his parents.
“I didn’t think anything mattered,” he said. “I thought I didn’t matter.”
Dollahite is now 20 years old and is opening up publicly for the first time since being incarcerated.
Five years ago, he terrorized the students at his high school, stabbing five classmates and assaulting another with a stick.
“I hit him and it broke and he ran and (hid),” he said. I couldn’t stop. I wasn’t thinking. I was just moving. I don’t remember that part (stabbing) because it happened really fast.”
Dollahite stabbed himself as police moved in. He was tasered and arrested. He eventually pleaded guilty to the crimes. As a minor he was sent to juvenile detention.
But as part of the plea bargain, Dollahite must serve the remainder of his ten-year prison sentence in adult court once he turns 21. At his 2017 sentencing, the deputy Utah County attorney explained the rationale behind the plea bargain.
“At the time of these awful events, Mr. Dollahite was a week past 16 and based on other considerations that have to deal with his mental health, we felt this was an appropriate balance, the best way to serve justice but also seeking to rehabilitate,” said Sam Pead a deputy Utah County attorney.
He’s now eligible for parole after more than three years in juvenile detention. Tuesday he appeared before a hearing officer with the Utah board of pardons and explained his actions and his remorse for the crime.
“They were so afraid,” said Dollahite. “I’m sorry for that. I know what it’s like. I don’t know what it was like for them as much as it was, but i’m sorry for that.”
In his hands was a letter meant for one of the families he hurt. It was an apology and a promise to them and his family.
“I know I’ll never hurt anyone again,” he said. I’ll never let myself hurt another person. I will never, never hurt anyone else.”
Dollahite said he’s undergone therapy while in the juvenile system. He said it has helped him understand his flaws and how to deal with those moments.
That’s why his attorney has filed a motion to keep him in juvenile detention in an effort to continue his rehabilitation.
But if the juvenile court refuses to do that and if he isn’t paroled, Dollahite will head to the adult prison to finish his sentence.
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