Should Diane Downs be paroled?
SALEM, Ore. -- Convicted Oregon child killer Diane Downs was denied parole at her hearing Friday. She will not have another parole hearing for ten years.
Downs appeared via video at her hearing Friday morning and again claimed that she is innocent.
Downs was convicted in 1984 of murdering her 7-year-old daughter and severely wounding her 8-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son on a rural road outside Springfield. She is serving a life sentence plus 55 years.
She maintained Friday her story that the children were shot by a carjacker.
Downs claimed, "My kids and I were sitting at home watching Helen Keller. Someone called to come pick up pictures for my boyfriend Rick. He claimed to be an FBI agent."
Background: Child killer Downs has Friday parole hearing
She added, "I received the phone call at 9:15. I piled the kids in the car. We went out to pick up the photographs."
She then went into a detailed description of the trip out to meet the alleged FBI impostor.
Somebody in the road flagged us down," she continued. "I stopped and got out of the car; he said something to the effect of, 'I want your car.'"
Downs said the man then quickly leaned into the car and started shooting.
"Christy and Danny were in the back seat, still crying," she added.
She accused the state of Oregon of saying she wanted her kids dead. But, she added, "There are other ways to commit such a horrific deed. I’m not dumb."
She also admitted for the first time that Rebecca Babcock, with whom she was pregnant during her murder trial, is her daughter.
Downs qualified the statement, saying Babcock--whom she refers to as "Amy"--was conceived through artificial insemination and the father will never be revealed.
Downs also contested a phsychiatric evaluation that claimed she would react the same way if the situation happened again, saying "I have no idea why she wrote that. Because I’m menopausal, I’ll never have kids again."
When the parole board asked Downs for insight gleaned from her time in prison, she did not refer to the crime itself, but only the classes she took during her incarceration.
She said she took a parenting class, and then she taught it. She later admitted that she facilitated a program that was broadcast on TV.
She also claimed the whole experience in prison was "one heck of an anger management class."
Downs also told the parole board she had "lived around every type of dark soul you can imagine over 27 years in prison."
Downs said she should be allowed out of prison to live with her parents in Texas.
She had said before the hearing that she would not participate in the hearing. Parole board officials said the hearing would proceed without her, if necessary.
Downs made the same threat in 2008 when she was first eligible for release. But then she took part in the hearing.
This hearing took place in Salem, but Downs testified via video from Chowchilla, Calif., where she is imprisoned at the Valley State Prison for Women.
None of Downs’ children attended the hearing. They are now adults. The prosecutor in the case adopted them when they were young.
The board members not only denied parole for Downs, but they also told her she is still dangerous and they would not consider letting her out for ten years.