PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — One of the men convicted in the double murder of a Terrebonne couple 32 years ago argued Thursday for his immediate release from prison, but a lawyer for the victims’ family said he should remain incarcerated for eight more years.
The state’s parole board is expected to set a tentative release date for Mark Wilson within 30 days, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Three of the five board members heard arguments during a meeting held by phone, with Wilson, 51, calling from the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem. The board also heard testimony from the victims’ relatives and their attorney.
Wilson was 18 when he shot Rod Houser, 53, 20 times with a rifle on the front porch of the couple’s house north of Redmond. Co-defendant Randy Guzek shot Lois Houser, 49, with a revolver inside the home.
Wilson and Guzek looted the house and tried to make it look like a cult killing before fleeing.
Wilson confessed and pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and felony murder. He was sentenced in 1988 to two consecutive life terms with the possibility of parole.
Guzek was convicted in the killings and sentenced to death.
Late last year, the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision cleared the way for Wilson’s eventual release by determining that he is “likely to be rehabilitated.”
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel said Wilson’s prison term should be 28 to 38 years, according to the sentencing laws in place at the time. Wilson has served 32 years.
The Housers’ daughter, Sue Shirley, repeated the family’s pleas to require Wilson to serve 40 years and described how Wilson and Guzek stole her parents’ possessions.
“There are no words to describe the pain, anger and misery” the killings caused the Housers’ loved ones in the decades since, she said.
Wilson told Shirley and Rod Houser’s brother, Doug, that he acknowledged “the tremendous pain and suffering that I have caused your family,” and apologized to them.
Wilson while in prison has graduated from the University of Oregon, volunteered in the prison hospice and served as a jailhouse lawyer for other inmates and a mentor to juvenile offenders. He also raised money for the children of a murdered woman he had read about.
He has had no record of violence or documented use of illicit substances while in prison.