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Woman convicted in 2005 Yamhill County murder submits clemency application to Gov. Brown

The family of Dale Rost III, who was found brutally murdered before Christmas in 2005, is urging the governor not to grant Lynley Rayburn's request.

YAMHILL COUNTY, Ore. — An Oregon woman convicted in a brutal 2005 murder is hoping for an early release from prison. 

Lynley Rayburn recently submitted a clemency application to Gov. Kate Brown's office. She's currently serving 25 years to life for her role in the killing of Dale Rost III. 

Although her application highlights Rayburn's remorse and desire for a chance to do better with her life outside of prison, her victim's daughters told KGW News that Rayburn never reached out or apologized for Rost's murder. The family hopes that she will remain behind bars. 

Sarah Olson and Kendra Pettit said their dad was kind and caring. He loved to fish, he loved his family - and he loved people. 

"He was the friendliest person," said Olson, "He would give you the shirt off his back. He would give you his last dollar."

"My dad was the very first person that I called to tell that I was pregnant because I knew that he was going to be so excited to be a grandpa and I knew that he would be the most excited," said Pettit, "That was two weeks before he was murdered."

Rost was robbed and killed in his own home in Sheridan, Ore. on Dec. 23, 2005. Olson recalled how she went to check on him when he didn't show up for a family Christmas gathering. 

"I'm the one who went to my dad's house and found him the way that Lynley left him — naked, tied up and shot in the head, lying in a pool of his own blood on his living room floor."

Gerard Smith and Lynley Rayburn were arrested, charged and pled guilty to the murder of Rost. They told investigators at the time that they were using meth. 

"She was involved in the planning of it, in the robbery of Mr. Rost, she was the one who stripped him of his clothing… she was involved in ransacking the house, looking for credit cards and other valuables," Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry said about Rayburn's involvement. He prosecuted the case against both of them. 

Recently, Rayburn submitted a clemency application to Gov. Kate Brown's office, petitioning for early release. In it, she argued that she accepts responsibility, wants to do better with her life and that she wasn't even in the house when Rost was murdered. 

However, the DA disputes that and told KGW the petition changed the facts of the case — something he asserts in his own letter to the governor.

"To portray herself as she does in the clemency application as, 'well I was kind of there and then I went outside when everything happened,' is just a lie." 

In a statement, a spokesperson for the governor's office wrote, in part:

Our office has received a clemency application from Lynley Rayburn, and that application is currently under review. To be clear, the Governor has not yet made a decision on this case. 

Governor Brown believes that granting clemency is an extraordinary act that should be reserved for individuals who have made incredible changes and who are dedicated to making their communities better. She evaluates clemency applications on a case-by-case basis and considers a variety of factors about the applicant’s history and case when making those decisions. 

Rost's daughters hope the governor takes their family into consideration. 

"If she gets released from jail, it's not like our dad is going to show up at our door and it's all over with," said Olson, "He's gone forever. He's not here to be a grandfather to our kids. He wasn't here to walk me down the aisle. He's not here to call with exciting news. We don't get any of those things back."