Ore. cop killer could get parole next month

Ore. cop killer could get parole next month

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by kgw.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 30 at 5:12 PM

SALEM -- The Oregon Parole Board Monday reviewed the release order for inmate Sidney Dean Porter and said it would decide by the end of October whether the cop killer should go free.

In 1992, John Day police officer Frank Ward responded to Porter's house, where Porter was beating his wife. Porter then murdered officer Ward with his bare hands and a piece of firewood.

During Monday's hearing, Porter promised that he will never turn violent again. He said he was drunk the night of the killing and can't remember much, but he will never forgive himself for what happened.  His family cried in the audience behind him.

The county attorney countered that Porter is still a huge threat to society and can not be trusted if he were to be released.

After reviewing the case, the parole board said it would make a final decision within three weeks.

Earlier this year, the board granted Porter parole after he served 20 years of a life sentence for killing Ward.  That decision led dozens of police officers from across the state to rally in Salem to express outrage that a man convicted of killing an officer was granted parole.

A House judiciary committee listened to arguments from both sides but the final decision was in the hands of the Parole Board. The victim's family also pleaded for a new release hearing.

Porter’s attorney said Monday that rescinding his client's parole was against statute and demanded that he be released immediately. He added that the only reason the board could rescind an inmate's parole would be if he commits institutional misconduct, has a bad psychological evaluation or has a bad parole plan.

Background: Family, officers urge no release for Porter

At the time, Jay Scroggin, Executive Director of the Oregon Board of Parole, defended the board's parole of Porter. 

“Legally, we feel like we followed the process for how this hearing was conducted, and the board felt like he met the burden to be released,” Scroggin said.

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