Wife-killer Hoffman denied parole

  • Article by: HERÓN MÁRQUEZ ESTRADA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 21, 2010 - 9:31 PM

It was his third try for parole since he was convicted in 1981 of killing and dismembering his wife. He can't make another bid for six years.

David Hoffman

Convicted murderer David Hoffman was denied parole Monday and must serve at least six more years in prison for strangling and dismembering his wife almost 30 years ago in western Hennepin County.

Hoffman, now 63, was convicted in 1981 of killing his wife, Carol Stebbins Hoffman, in their home in Corcoran. He tried to dispose of her body in a garbage disposal and later threw the remains in nearby Weaver Lake.

On Monday, the state Department of Corrections, in denying his parole request, ruled Hoffman must serve at least six more years before he is eligible to reapply for parole.

Relatives of Carol Hoffman have been working for the past 30 years to keep Hoffman incarcerated.

"It was a relief," said Phyllis Stebbins, Carol's mother, who was among the Stebbins family members attending Monday's review. She called it "a little closure on the nightmare."

The Stebbins family says Hoffman, who is housed at Moose Lake prison, shows no remorse about the killing.

Hoffman's sister, Delores Olean of Columbia Heights, said, "Another six years doesn't surprise me; another 10 years wouldn't surprise me. It was a vicious, vicious crime that never should have happened. A couple years ago I thought maybe there was a chance at 30 years that he would get out."

Monday's review, which was closed to the public, marked the third time Hoffman has tried for release. He was denied in 1994, the first time he was eligible, and again in 2000.

Both times the state corrections commissioner cited Hoffman's lack of remorse as among the reasons he was not released, corrections records show.

Corrections Commissioner Joan Fabian said in her decision Monday that Hoffman had not met all of the conditions set during his last review in 2000. Fabian did not elaborate.

Carol Hoffman had two daughters who were ages 3 years and 9 months when she was killed in August 1980. The murder was one of the most notorious in Hennepin County history at the time, according to police.

David Hoffman admitted to the killing but pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He was convicted of first-degree murder.

Also convicted was his mother, Helen Ulvinen, who reportedly knew about the plan to kill her daughter-in-law. Her conviction was overturned in 1981 by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Katherine Stebbins, Carol's sister, said Monday's decision bought the family some time.

"We know that in another six years we're going to have to fight this all over again," she said from the Anoka County cemetery where her sister is buried. "But as long as he's in [prison] he can't hurt anybody.

Hoffman's sister said that her brother has shown remorse over the years and should be released.

"I have been sitting across from him in prison and he broke down, it was so sad to see," Olean said. "He's been in there for 30 years. It's a total lie that there has been no remorse."

Heron Marquez Estrada • 612-673-4280

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