Matthew James Day, pictured in this 2009 booking photo, is serving time in the Utah State Prison in connection with a gang-related freeway shooting. | Salt Lake County Jail
UTAH STATE PRISON — Matthew James Day says he gave up the gang lifestyle eight years ago after arriving at the Utah State Prison.
“It’s been the biggest chip off my shoulder I could ever relieve myself of,” he said in a recording of his parole hearing on Sept. 1. “It’s not conducive to society in my eyes anymore. … They don’t care about me, they only care about how they prosper as a group.”
But whatever strides Day, now 40, has made while in prison is of little consequence to the father of the man Day helped kill.
“Apologies is not going to affect what he did. He hurt us. He changed our lives, bad. Our son is not going to come back. He’s dead,” said the father, only identified as Mr. Contreras. “I don’t care what he’s done in prison helping other people. It’s too late. He should have thought about that before he did what he did.”
On Jan. 9, 2009, Day was driving the vehicle that pulled up next to Cesar Ramirez, 18, on the I-15 southbound collector near 2100 South. A passenger shot Ramirez, who died a week later. Day was convicted of manslaughter and was ordered to serve to up to 20 years in prison.
Despite allegedly giving up the gang lifestyle, Day also hasn’t given up the name of the person he was with that day who shot Ramirez, prompting state officials last year to issue a new reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunman.
During his parole hearing, Day said he had no confidence in himself in 2009 and was scared of being hurt by others.
“So I …read more
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