SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – A man who admitted to killing an 11-year-old in 1991 is again seeking parole.
Adam Cook was in the wrong place at the wrong time in May 1991. He was in his father’s vehicle when a pipe bomb exploded.
Steven Thurman was later arrested and sent to prison for life with a chance of parole. His previous attempt at parole was denied. In late February, Thurman appeared before the Board of Pardons again.
Adam’s father, Howard Cook was also there. He told the hearing officer that day still haunts him.
“(The) memories of seeing the explosion, running through the debris of seeing my son Adam slumped over on the driver’s seat,” Howard Cook said.
He said after hearing the explosion, he ran towards the burning vehicle to grab his 11-year-old son. Cook called out his son’s name as he approached the vehicle.
“I held him in my arms and saw the massive injury to his face,” Cook said at the recent parole hearing. “It was) caused by the battery of the detonator going through his left eye and into his brain.”
Adam was rushed to the hospital and fought to stay alive but his father knew it was hopeless.
About a week later, the Salt Lake district attorney held a press conference to make a grim announcement.
“He was taken off life support earlier this morning and immediately died,” said former DA David Yocum.
Word reached the Viewmont elementary school where Adam was in 5th grade.
He was an athlete and the tallest guy on the team.
“In basketball he could score a lot of points,” said one classmate. “He was big and tall.”
Police and federal authorities were also on the scene and quickly raided the apartment of their suspect.
Thurman was arrested and charged with aggravated murder, a charge that carred the death penalty.
According to a 1993 report from ABC4, the motive was jealousy.
Reporter: “Authorities say Thurman was trying to kill Adam’s father, Howard Cook who was having an affair with his ex-wife. Howard Cook had just stepped out of his car and left adam inside. Thurman allegedly detonated the bomb by remote control.”
But to the end, Thurman denied setting off the bomb, implying it accidentally went off.
He was sentenced to life in prison with a chance at parole. But months later, filed a motion to appeal the outcome. It wasn’t until 1998 that Thurman was finally re-sentenced to life in prison with a chance of parole.
In 1993, Adam’s father said the damage to his family was unbelievable and Thurman deserved the death penalty.
“(There was) a lot of damage to me and my family,” Cook told an ABC4 reporter. “It’s unexplainable damage to Adam’s little brother who is all alone now.”
Nearly 30-years after the pipe bomb exploded, Thurman is again asking for parole. Friday, in part 2 of Adam’s murder, Cook denied he set out to kill anyone. Adam’s father was also present.