An Oregon man who was convicted for the 1990 sexual assault and murder of his high school classmate will be released from prison Thursday.
The Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison supervision announced the parole decision for Conrad Engweiler’s case in September. The board set his Oct. 16 release date on Tuesday, finalizing the process, according to The Oregonian.
Engweiler was convicted of raping and murdering 16-year-old Erin Reynolds in 1990. She had reportedly just beaten cancer when the killing occurred. He was 15 years old at the time. The two were classmates at Beaverton's Sunset High School.
His case has remained in the news over the years because he was sentenced as a teen when the state of Oregon had no sentencing guidelines for juveniles convicted of murder. He became known as one of the so-called Oregon Five, a group of inmates all sentenced during that time.
His life sentence for the crime was ordered to be amended by the Oregon Supreme Court. So too was the 30-year mandatory minimum attached to his sentence.
In 1999 the parole board set a new minimum of 40 years. The state supreme court struck that down in 2011, leaving the parole board with no choice but to work on setting a more immediate release date, according to The Associated Press.
In 2012, Engweiler began asking, through his attorney, for time off for good behavior.
Last year the court ruled that such a reduction in sentence was warranted.
The decision angered Reynolds’ family members who attended Engweiler’s August parole hearing. The decision for his release was announced in September, shortly after that hearing.
“I've lost all faith in the justice system,” family member Beth Greear told KPTV after the announcement. “I'm devastated. There's no preparation for that.”
In documents supporting the decision, the board wrote to Engweiler that, “evaluations do not support a finding that you have a present severe emotional disturbance that constitutes a danger to the health or safety of the community.”
The documents also state that "the Board's decision in no way diminishes the seriousness of the offenses.”
The “active supervision period” of Engweiler’s probation will last for three years. He will remain on parole for life and be required to register as a sex offender. He will not be allowed to contact the victim’s family.
He said he plans to work as a clerk in his attorney’s office.
Photo Source: The Oregonian