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I don’t often talk to people who are accused of murder. Recently I had the assignment of talking to Curtis Allgier who admitted to killing Corrections Officer Stephen Anderson. The whole story is just depressing.
Allgier doesn’t strike you as the kind of guy who wasn’t given brains or intellect when they were handed out. If I were to speak with him over the phone I would think he’s reasonably articulate, he seems calm and rational and that he could get along with anyone, if he only wanted to. However, talking to him through a partition at the Salt Lake County Jail, you realize what a waste his life has become.
After talking to him for a while, you realize how his statements tend to conflict each other. He said he takes full responsibility and does not blame Anderson for what he did, but he also says if Anderson hadn’t removed the handcuffs the killing would have never happened. He said he does not promote crime as a way to promote yourself or your race, but he’s been in trouble with the law for a very long time. He says he didn’t mean to kill Anderson, but if that were true, why do investigators say he shot Anderson twice?
It appears Allgier’s terrible decisions have completely ruined whatever potential he had. I don’t know if he was trying to be a martyr for his white supremacist group, but I’ve never understood why someone would choose a life of pain and hatred leading to death instead of complying with laws that are actually easy to follow to stay out of prison, and live a happy and healthy life.
The absolute worst part of the story is the death of a man who everyone seems to agree was a fantastic human being. Family members, co-workers and even prisoners say they truly loved and respected Stephen Anderson. It will be ironic if Allgier has any contact with these prisoners who are now furious with him.