Utah death row inmate moves closer to execution, but it’s still likely years away

Taberon Honie (image provided by the Utah Dept. of Corrections)

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has rejected arguments made by a death row inmate seeking to block his pending execution.

Taberon Honie is on death row for the 1998 murder of his girlfriend’s mother, Claudia Benn. He slit her throat and sexually assaulted her. Benn’s grandchildren witnessed the killing, prosecutors said.

In a ruling issued Thurday, U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson cut through Honie’s requests to consider additional evidence in his death penalty appeals, siding with the state.

“The court will now proceed to consider and rule on the petition,” she wrote.

Honie’s petition for habeas corpus is one of the few remaining claims, although it will likely take years to litigate with another round of appeals.