State parole board sets release date for former Lake Oswego man convicted of murdering classmate in 1990
Former Lake Oswego resident and convicted murderer Conrad Engweiler will be granted parole Oct. 16, the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision announced today.
Engweiler, 40, was convicted in 1991 of raping and murdering 16-year-old Erin Reynolds, his classmate at Sunset High School in Beaverton.
Engweilers initial sentence for the Feb. 20, 1990, crimes was a minimum of 30 years, but his case has been complicated by its inclusion in the so-called "Oregon Five," a group of juveniles convicted of aggravated murder before comprehensive parole guidelines were in place. In 1999, the Oregon Board of Parole determined that each could be required to serve up to 40 years before being eligible for so much as a parole hearing; that decision was struck down in 2011 by the state Supreme Court, which ruled that the parole board had overstepped its authority and should set Engweiler's release date immediately, and not after he served the 40-year minimum.
Engweiler was granted an exit interview May 13 before state parole board members Kristin Winges-Yanez, Michael Wu and Sid Thompson. The nearly four-hour hearing included testimony from Engweiler, as well as from the victims family. Later that week, the parole board announced it had ordered another psychological evaluation of Engweiler, and that it sought additional information on psychosexual risk factors.
A second interview was held Aug. 26.
The parole board issued a Board Action Form on Tuesday, ordering an immediate parole date that would be deferred 45 days to give Engweiler time to develop an "adequate release plan."
In its decision, the board noted the heinous, vicious, and despicable nature of this crime, adding, (the board) is greatly aware of the profound suffering of those who knew and loved the victim."
However," the decision noted, "the Board is bound to follow applicable law and rules in effect at the time of the crimes, as well as the legal rulings of the Oregon courts which have interpreted those laws and rules. The Court of Appeals has ruled that, under the parole rules in effect at the time of the murder, the board may only rely on the psychiatric or psychological evaluation(s) to determine whether the inmate suffers from a severe emotional disturbance such as to constitute a danger to the health and safety of the community, and defer parole release on that basis.
The decision concluded: Based on the contents of the psychological evaluations, the Board determines that the evaluations do not support a finding that you have a present severe emotional disturbance that constitutes a danger to the health or safety of the community.
Beth Greear, Reynolds' step-sister, was informed of the parole board's decision earlier Tuesday by Rosemary Brewer, legal director of the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center.
I'm devastated. I'm frustrated. I'm angry at our justice system, Greear said. I'm not angry at the parole board. The parole board has always been amazing, but the parole board unfortunately has to do what the laws say, and our justice system is just flawed.
Greear said she believes Engweiler should have served a longer sentence. He was given 40 years, he should've had to do 40 years, Greear said. He hasnt even done 25 years.
Greear expressed skepticism that Engweiler had truly rehabilitated himself in prison. He hasn't had any 16-year-olds to rape and murder in there, Greear said.
Once released, Engweiler will remain on parole for life, and will be required to register as a sex offender.