SEATTLE (AP) — Washington Governor Jay Inslee has overturned a decision to grant parole to the man who killed three tavern workers during a 1980 robbery.
Timothy Pauley was 21 when he and associate Scott Carl Smith robbed the Barn Door Tavern near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after closing time, using extension cords to tie up three women and two men who were cleaning. They forced the women to strip and took the men to a cold room, where Pauley executed them with a gun.
One of the women, Linda Burford, was strangled by a rope used to tie her to a bar rail. The other two women – cook Sherri Beckham and Margaret Dowell, wife of slain night manager Loran Dowell – survived.
Despite opposition from the families of the victims and the King County prosecutor’s office, the state’s Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board unanimously found Pauley to be rehabilitated and eligible for parole.
The decision follows a March hearing in which Pauley noted that he had undergone years of counseling for drug and alcohol addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder for a work injury he had suffered before the murders. .
Pauley told the council that he panicked during the killings and did not know why he shot the men, Dowell and bartender Robert Pierre. Pauley also said he wanted to be known for something more than his horrific crime.
But in an order released Friday by the governor’s office, Inslee said he didn’t believe Pauley had shown proper remorse. Pauley did not apologize to family members of the victims, who attended the online parole hearing in March, or mention the victims by name, Inslee noted.
“For Mr. Pauley’s rehabilitation to be complete, he must engage in serious soul-searching to ultimately attain and affirmatively demonstrate both a full acceptance of responsibility and remorse,” Inslee wrote.
King County District Attorney Dan Satterberg also opposed Pauley’s release, writing to the board that “the atrocities committed by Mr. Pauley and Mr. Smith against the people of the Barn Door Tavern remain one of the most notorious crimes ever perpetrated in King County”.
Satterberg insisted that Pauley never fully acknowledged his actions. He also noted that in a 2012 letter, Pauley suggested that Department of Corrections personnel be killed and described a Department of Corrections employee as subhuman.
The governor referred the case to the sentencing review board for further processing. Smith also remains in jail.
This story corrects the name of Pauley’s associate to Scott Carl Smith, not Steven Smith.
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