On Jan. 18, the OCVLC helped to persuade the Oregon State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision (BPPPS) that an inmate who bludgeoned and then choked to death a Portland man almost 25 years ago should spend at least another 24 months behind bars.
Although the three-member board previously had found that the inmate, Scott Wickee, aka Wickey, was likely to be rehabilitated within a reasonable period of time and had set a
release date for April 2012, it unanimously concluded, at a Jan. 18 hearing, that it was not required to release him at that time because he has a severe emotional disturbance that would make him a danger to the community if released.
The board set a new release date of April 16, 2014, with another hearing to be held in Fall 2013 to determine whether Wickee’s current psychological status and release plan warrant release at that time.
At the hearing, Wickee refused to acknowledge that he and his co-defendant, Kevin Roper, intended both to rob and murder the victim, Eddie Lee “Bobby” Gibbs, when they left Gibbs’ Southeast Portland house together in 1987, despite intense and at times disbelieving questioning from board members.
“There were real contradictions,” board chairman Aaron Felton told Wickee about his version of the crime, which Wickee has had almost 25 years to consider.
“The story should be clear,” Felton said. “It shouldn’t be ambiguous.”
Felton told Wickee that the board also was “deeply concerned” about how he might deal with authority outside prison. “You still need to do some work,” Felton concluded.
Wickee and Roper both were convicted of Aggravated Murder and sentenced to life in prison with mandatory minimum sentences of 30 years without the possibility of parole. However, in 2010 the Oregon Supreme Court held that, as a result of the board's 2008 findings that Wickee and Roper were likely to be rehabilitated, it was required to set release dates for them,
even though they had not yet served their 30-year minimum sentences.
That ruling also affected 28 other inmates, of which Roper was the first to have a hearing scheduled to determine whether his existing release date would be delayed. On Nov. 15, Roper, who had been scheduled for release in March 2012, also was denied release for at least another two years.
Wickee's release also was opposed by Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Charles “Chuck” French and Gibbs' mother and brother.
The OCVLC, which represented Gibbs' sister at Wickee’s hearing, also represented her at Roper’s hearing.