ASTORIA, Ore. -- A man who murdered two women in the Portland area had been released from the Clatsop County Jail due to overcrowding just months earlier.
District Attorney Josh Marquis has long said the jail is too small, but voters twice rejected bond measures to expand or build a new one. The jail holds 60 people and nearly every day someone is set free because of overcrowding.
Marquis said he worried it would lead to disaster and a year ago it did.
Mark Beebout was arrested more than a year ago in Clatsop County. He was tried and convicted of failing to register as a sex offender. Marquis said Beebout was going to be sent to prison for 14 months. But it never happened.
"He had a hearing coming up less than a week later," Marquis said. "I asked that the judge hold him without bail, and I hoped that he would be held. And then on the 29th of May that we would send him to prison for 14 months. He was released by the jail unfortunately on what we call a 'forced matrix release,' meaning an overflow release on, I believe the 25th or 26th.”
Beebout skipped the sentencing and a month later murdered a 15-year-old San Diego girl he had met at a Portland homeless shelter. The next month he murdered a volunteer from the same shelter.
Last week a Multnomah County judge sentenced him to two consecutive life sentences.
KGW Reporter Pat Dooris contributed to this report.