POCATELLO James Edward Wood does not believe he must die to atone for last summer's murder of 11-year-old newspaper carrier Jeralee Underwood, a spiritual adviser to the victim's family said.

Dr. Kert Howard, a friend of Jeralee's parents Jeff and Joyce Underwood and president of the Pocatello Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said Wood wants the Underwoods to forgive him.

''He believes he's been forgiven. He figures Christ died for all our sins, and he shouldn't have to die,'' Howard said after meeting with Wood for 45 minutes at the Bannock County Jail last week.