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Oregon Christmas killer might go free after simply 14 years of 25 to life sentence if Gov. Brown grants clemency

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Dale Rost III was a father of 5 from Oregon when he went out to stroll his canine simply earlier than Christmas in 2005 and encountered a few meth-fueled thugs who pressured him to strip bare and tied him up. 

They ransacked his home, took his pockets, and shot him through the eye at point-blank with a .22 rifle. 

His now-adult youngsters say they’re appalled that Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is contemplating clemency for one of many suspects within the heartless homicide of their father two days earlier than Christmas 17 years in the past.

Lynley Janet Rayburn and her then-boyfriend Gerard “AJ” Smith went out on the early morning of Dec. 23, 2005 – armed with the rifle and excessive on meth, in line with court docket paperwork. Each had been convicted of theft and homicide after killing Dale Rost III.
(Yamhill County Correctional Facility)

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Lynley Janet Rayburn, 26 on the time, and her then-boyfriend Gerard “AJ” Smith, then 20, went out on the early morning of Dec. 23, 2005 – armed with the rifle and excessive on meth, in line with court docket paperwork. Each are serving life jail sentences for theft and homicide in reference to what occurred subsequent.

They went up a 100-yeard rural driveway and encountered Rost, 54, letting the canine out round 1:30 a.m. He’d be a grandfather a number of occasions over if he had been nonetheless alive immediately, in line with his youngsters.

Smith and Rayburn hogtied him and raided the home, which on the time was stocked up with Christmas presents. They took his debit and bank cards and requested him for the PIN numbers, which he provided hoping they’d take his belongings and go away.

Dale Rost III and one of his daughter, Kendra Pettit, in an undated photo.

Dale Rost III and one in all his daughter, Kendra Pettit, in an undated photograph.
(Courtesy: Rost household)

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However earlier than they left, Smith put the rifle to the certain man’s eye and pulled the set off, in line with Rost’s daughter, Sarah Olson, who instructed Fox Information Digital Friday that she was the one who stumbled upon the crime scene hours later when her dad failed to point out as much as a household vacation get together.

“She brutally murdered any individual,” Olson stated of Rayburn. “The truth that Gov. Brown is even contemplating that is completely absurd.”

Rayburn on a number of events admitted to participating within the crime and pleaded responsible in December 2006, in line with court docket paperwork. 

Lynley Janet Rayburn and her then-boyfriend Gerard "AJ" Smith went out on the early morning of Dec. 23, 2005 – armed with the rifle and high on meth, according to court documents. Both were convicted of robbery and murder after killing Dale Rost III.

Lynley Janet Rayburn and her then-boyfriend Gerard “AJ” Smith went out on the early morning of Dec. 23, 2005 – armed with the rifle and excessive on meth, in line with court docket paperwork. Each had been convicted of theft and homicide after killing Dale Rost III.
(Yamhill County Correctional Facility)

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Police reviews state she even instructed detectives on the day of the crime that “I f—ing did it,” and “I f—ing kill[ed] him.”

After killing Rost, the couple used his debit and bank cards to buy a whole bunch of {dollars} of things round city and to withdraw money from ATMs – utilizing his stolen automotive to get round.

They met up with a good friend that afternoon, who had simply been launched from the county jail, and instructed him that he was sitting in a {dead} man’s automotive, in addition to different particulars of the crime.

The good friend, Nathan Napp, instructed detectives that the killing was Rayburn’s concept, in line with investigators.

She was afraid Rost would determine her in the event that they let him go as a result of she “had youngsters” and “in the event that they left the sufferer alive, they might get caught by police,” in line with prosecutors. So Smith “taped the man up” and shot him.

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Brown declined to be interviewed for this text. However by way of a spokesperson, she launched a prolonged assertion.

“To be clear, the governor has not but decided on this case,” the spokesman, Charles Boyle, instructed Fox Information Digital. “Anybody can submit an software to the governor for clemency, and our workplace didn’t provoke this course of. We did provoke communication with the District Lawyer’s workplace to ask for his or her suggestions after we obtained the appliance.”

The petition seems to have been the work of a gaggle of scholars on the Legal Justice Reform Clinic at Lewis and Clark Legislation Faculty in Portland. They despatched a 112-page letter to the governor describing Rayburn’s troubled childhood and alleged makes an attempt to enhance her life behind bars and helped her file an April 2021 software for government clemency.

Brown additionally attended Lewis and Clark Legislation.

READ THE CLEMENCY PETITION:

“Lynley is police and soft-spoken, likes to see the Positive in conditions and is grateful for the packages she has participated in whereas incarcerated to work on herself and do good within the Espresso Creek [Correctional Facility] neighborhood,” the missive begins. “She accepts accountability for her actions that led to her incarceration and needs an opportunity to do higher along with her life outdoors of jail.”

Olson stated the Lewis and Clark report “is all based mostly off of opinion – no information from the case.”

“It’s simply unbelievable to me,” she stated. “This isn’t any individual who simply dedicated some delicate crime – she murdered any individual. She humiliated somebody, made them strip their garments off, tied them up. It’s simply unbelievable to me.”

Taking a plea deal that prevented the loss of life penalty for Rayburn and years of appeals for Rost’s household in December 2006, she was sentenced to 25 years to life in jail for felony homicide – plus one other 35 months on the theft cost. If she receives clemency’ she’ll stroll free 14 years earlier than being eligible for parole – serving roughly half of her minimal sentence.

“They might have been given the loss of life penalty,” stated Justin Olson, Rost’s son-in-law. “The one cause they weren’t is so we didn’t need to spend 25 years doing the very factor that we’re coping with proper now.”

The petition on Rayburn’s behalf additionally features a handwritten letter she herself wrote to Gov. Brown.

In it, she once more admits that she agreed to participate within the crime however claims that after they tied Rost up she went outdoors and obtained into her automotive. She claims, within the letter, that Smith killed Rost alone and returned to her with the {dead} man’s automotive – a direct contradiction to the information of the case, prosecutors have argued.

Boyle stated the governor “takes each effort” to get enter from the victims of crime earlier than granting clemency, nevertheless Olson stated that neither she nor her different members of the family had been contacted by the governor’s workplace earlier than they discovered from prosecutors that Rayburn’s case was up for assessment.

“Governor Brown believes that granting clemency is a unprecedented act that needs to be reserved for people who’ve made unimaginable modifications and who’re devoted to creating their communities higher,” Boyle stated. “She evaluates clemency purposes on a case-by-case foundation and considers quite a lot of components concerning the applicant’s historical past and case when making these selections.”

Rost’s youngsters have started a petition urging Brown to disclaim the clemency request.

“Clemency should be reserved for these wrongfully convicted and, in some distinctive {cases}, the reformed,” their letter reads. “Neither is true in our case.  A assassin that hog-tied a father of 5 in entrance of the Christmas tree earlier than executing him shouldn’t be an harmless bystander. By enjoying her personal sufferer card, the assassin and [Criminal Justice Reform Clinic] have taken an affordable shot at justice and mercilessly taunted our household.”

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Yamhill District Lawyer Bradley Berry, who prosecuted Rayburn again in 2006, didn’t instantly return calls searching for remark. However he despatched a letter of his personal to the governor, urging her to disclaim the clemency request – which he stated “surprised” him.

“The minimization of her position on this homicide by the authors of the appliance…reveals she has taken little, if any, accountability for her actions on that day that she and Smith robbed, humiliated and murdered Dale Rost in chilly blood,” he wrote.

Fox Information’ Sarah Rumpf contributed to this report.



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