David Ragsdale will spend at least 30 years in prison for his wife's shooting death before he receives a hearing for parole.
Utah County prosecutor Craig Johnson said he received an e-mail Monday from the Board of Pardons notifying him of the board's decision to hold Ragsdale's hearing in January 2038. At that time, the board will decide whether to grant parole, schedule a second hearing for a decision or to never grant parole, Johnson said. The Utah County Attorney's Office is ecstatic with the decision, he said, and that Ragsdale will be 67 and his two young sons will be in their 30s before any hearing occurs.
"For it to go 30 years is quite significant in our minds," Johnson said.
David Ragsdale pleaded guilty in November to aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, in the shooting death of his wife, Kristy. He was arrested Jan. 6 after he allegedly shot his wife multiple times as she arrived at a church meetinghouse in Lehi. Several witnesses were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, including Kristy Ragsdale's mother, who was only a few feet away. Kristy Ragsdale died at the scene. In January, Judge Claudia Laycock sentenced Ragsdale to 20 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Johnson said the date of an initial hearing before the Board of Pardons varies with each case. Minor offenses may receive a hearing within months, but felons with more serious charges often spend one or two years in prison. Mark Hacking, who was convicted of shooting his wife in 2005, also received a hearing date for 30 years after his crime in 2035, Johnson said.