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Prosecutors in Utah are calling for the execution of a man on death row for a 1998 murder

SALT LAKE CITY – Prosecutors are calling for the execution of a man sentenced to death in 1999 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend's mother.

Prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday for an execution warrant against Taberone Dave Honie, who was convicted of aggravated murder on May 18, 1999. Court documents show he was sentenced to death on May 24, 1999.

According to court documents, Honie killed his ex-girlfriend's mother, Claudia Benn, on July 9, 1998. Honie broke into Benn's Cedar City apartment by smashing a rock through a glass door and sexually assaulted Benn with a large butcher knife before cutting her neck “from ear to ear”, causing her to bleed to death.

Honie was 22 years old and the murder occurred in front of Benn's three young grandchildren.

According to the state's execution petition, Honie appealed the court's decision several times, but his sentence was upheld by the Utah Supreme Court in 2002 and 2014, was rejected in 2019, and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction on January 26, 2023.

Finally, on December 11, 2023, a federal petition for writ of certiorari, which is a request to the state Supreme Court to review an appeals court's decision, was denied.

“Honie has no pending appeal challenging his murder conviction or death sentence. He has exhausted state and federal legal remedies to challenge his conviction and sentence. Therefore, there is no legal reason to delay the issuance of an execution warrant,” the state’s motion states.

Prosecutors asked the court to overturn a 1999 order that delayed his execution pending an appeal and to bring Honie to trial “to issue a new order of execution.”

The state filed a proposed warrant along with the application on Tuesday.

Anna Harden

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