Yates' release was opposed by the Clackamas County District Attorney's Office, represented by Bill Stewart, as well as by Ms. Elkins' sister, mother, father, other family members, and friends of the family. Rosemary Brewer, Legal Director of the OCVLC, argued against Yates' release on behalf of Ms. Elkins' father.
On February 18, 2014, the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision deferred the release date of inmate Dail Yates for a period of four years. In a unanimous decision, the Board found that Yates has a present severe emotional disturbance that cannot be sufficiently controlled to protect the health and safety of the community.
Yates pleaded guilty in 1990 for the murder of Shelley Elkins, 20, in Clackamas County. Ms. Elkins was the fiance of Yates' cousin, and was attacked by Yates in her home. After strangling Ms. Elkins to death, Yates called his mother, then held a gun and refused to allow police or medical personnel into the home for hours.
During lengthy questioning by the Board, Yates called the murder of Ms. Elkins "a bad choice" that he made. The Board found that Yates displayed a total lack of understanding why he committed the murder, and that he showed "no remorse or empathy" for the death of Ms. Elkins. Board member Sid Thompson said he was struck by how "cold and emotionless" Yates was as he described killing Ms. Elkins.
a nonprofit focused on providing no cost legal services to crime victims, the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center (OCVLC)
has been busy the past few months providing a variety of services to crime
victims of all types and from areas around the state.
Columbia County, OCVLC successfully helped a child sex abuse victim and her
family assert their right to a speedy trial in a case that had been pending
since 2012. After OCVLC got involved, no further continuances were requested
and the defendant ultimately settled the case through a plea deal.
Clackamas County, OCVLC agreed to help a stalking victim with the legal issue
of clarifying her Stalking Protective Order, originally granted in 2001. Since
that time, due to court error on the original judgment, it had become unclear
whether the order was permanent and should be entered into law enforcement
databases. OCVLC filed a motion to correct the judgment on the victim’s behalf,
and the Court granted the motion and signed a new, corrected, permanent
Stalking Protective Order.
Clatsop County, OCVLC attorneys were able to persuade the court to seal the
testimony of the victim in a rape case after the victim discovered that a
person not associated with the case was attempting to get a copy of it.
Upon a showing of good cause to seal the records, the court agreed that the
victim would only be "re-victimized" were the testimony to be released.
Finally in Multnomah County, a crime victim who
had also obtained a restraining order requested help with an upcoming contested
restraining order. OCVLC represented the victim in the restraining order case
and also helped the victim through the process of the defendant pleading guilty
in the criminal case, by helping her assert her right to speak at that critical
stage hearing. After pleading guilty, the defendant withdrew his request for a
contested restraining order hearing.
has once again prevented the pretrial release of a victim’s private records,
challenging invasive defense subpoenas in a child sex abuse case.
December 2013 and January 2014, a Klamath County Circuit Court judge quashed
two rounds of defense subpoenas seeking personal medical and counseling records
of a minor sex abuse victim. OCVLC stepped in on behalf of the victim and asked
the court not to allow the defendant to abuse the subpoena process to go on a
“fishing expedition” for information about the victim’s past. OCVLC argued that
the defendant had not made a sufficient showing that the records were material
and favorable to the defense, and therefore those records had been
inappropriately subpoenaed prior to trial. The Court agreed with OCVLC’s
arguments and quashed the subpoenas, allowing the defendant only the ability to
subpoena the records directly to trial, where the Court would then require a
threshold showing by the defense before reviewing any of the records.
On January 22, 2014 the Oregon Crime
Victims Law Center (OCVLC) helped to persuade the Oregon Board of Parole and Post
Prison Supervision that an inmate who bludgeoned and strangled a Portland man
to death in 1987 should serve at least another two years in prison. Scott
Wickee, along with co-defendant Kevin Roper, were found guilty of aggravated
murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Board member Candace Wheeler told Wickee that he "continues to
minimize" his role in the murder of Eddie Lee "Bobby"
Gibbs. "You seem to just feel sorry for yourself," Wheeler
noted. The Board set a new potential release date of April 2016.
The Board unanimously found that Wickee has a "present severe emotional
disturbance that would make (him) a danger to the community if released."
In his description of the murder of Mr. Gibbs, Wickee downplayed his role, and
claimed that he never expected the murder to happen, despite evidence of
significant planning in advance by Wickee and Roper.
Wickee's release was opposed by Multnomah County Deputy
District Attorney Amity Girt, as well as Mr. Gibbs' mother, sister, and
brother. Rosemary Brewer, Legal Director of the OCVLC, argued on behalf
of Mr. Gibbs' brother-in-law, Dennis Doern.
We are excited to announce that the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center has moved to a new location!
Our new physical/mailing address is:
7412 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy
Portland, OR 97225
The new office is in an accessible and desirable location for our clients, attorneys and professional staff. It is close to major highways and public transportation, and, unlike our previous downtown location, it offers free parking!
Photo of our new building, courtesy of American Property Management
We are pleased to announce
the hire of Melanie Kebler as our new staff attorney. Melanie spent four years
as a prosecutor in both Lincoln and Yamhill Counties, focusing on crimes of
domestic violence and sexual assault. Throughout her career as a prosecutor,
Melanie worked closely with victims and victim advocates to ensure that crime
victims understood the criminal justice system and were treated fairly within
it. She also worked hard to achieve just results in each criminal case, to hold
offenders accountable, and to achieve protection and restitution for victims.
As a staff attorney for OCVLC, Melanie will be handling cases involving victims
of any crime around the state. We are confident she will continue to uphold the OCVLC’s standard of providing expert, no-cost legal representation that
clients of OCVLC have come to expect. Prior to attending law school at Lewis
and Clark Law School in Portland, Melanie graduated from the University of
Michigan in 2005. She joins legal director Rosemary Brewer and administrative
director and victim advocate Cristina Damiani.
The Board of Parole and Post-Prison
Supervision has deferred the release of inmate Sidney Dean Porter, convicted of
aggravated murder in the 1992 beating death of John Day police officer Frank
Ward. Porter's new projected release date is in June 2015. The
Oregon Crime Victims Law Center represented Ben Ward, the brother of Frank
Ward, at the Parole Board hearing held on September 30, 2013.
According to the Board of Parole, Porter "failed to
demonstrate a full understanding of his criminal offense." During
the hearing, Porter's version of the events of the evening of April 8, 1992
differed substantially from witness accounts and investigative reports.The Board found that Porter "minimized his actions" in describing the
murder of Officer Ward, and that he "understated his history of domestic
"I'm just glad the whole truth came out. The Board heard what really happened that night," said Ben Ward.
Rosemary Brewer, legal director of OCVLC, submitted a memo in opposition to
Porter's release on behalf of Ben Ward, who spoke at the hearing. Grant
County District Attorney Ryan Joslin also argued against Porter's
On October 9, 2013, the Oregon
Crime Victims Law Center helped to persuade the Oregon Board of Parole and
Post-Prison Supervision that an inmate who orchestrated the beating death of a
21-year-old Oregon City man that he should spend at least another 48 months
The Board had previously set a
release date for Tony Wik of January 24, 2014, but after deliberating
unanimously concluded that the inmate had a present severe emotional
disturbance that would make him a threat to the safety of the community.
At the hearing, Wik continued
to deny that he planned and carried out the murder of Rob Elledge, a man Wik
said he considered his "best friend." After questioning Wik for more
than two hours, board vice-chair Candace Wheeler told him, "Frankly.
you're not credible."
Wik was convicted of felony
murder, burglary and hindering prosecution, and given a sentence of life with a
minimum of 25 years with five years consecutive for hindering prosecution in
1987 by Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Bagley. An Oregon
Supreme Court holding in 2010 required the board to set a possible release date
for the inmate if it found that he was likely to be rehabilitated, even though
he has not yet completed his 30 year minimum sentence.
OCVLC represented Rob Elledge's
parents, Mary and Robert, in opposing Wik's release. Also appearing at
the hearing were the victim's sisters and brother-in-law. Clackamas
County Deputy District Attorney Al French also spoke in opposition to the
release. Rosemary Brewer, legal director of OCVLC, argued on behalf of
The Oregon Crime Victims Law
Center successfully represented the family of murder victim Eddie Gibbs at a
hearing before the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision on July 16,
2013. Gibbs was 20 years old at the time he was murdered in 1987 by Kevin
Roper and Scott Wickee. Wickee and Roper pleaded guilty to aggravated
murder and received sentences of life in prison.
After hearing from Roper, a
supporter of Roper, a Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney, OCVLC Legal
Director Rosemary Brewer, and family members of Eddie Gibbs, the Board decided
to defer Roper's release date for two years. He has a potential release
date of February 14, 2016. Two members of the Board found that Roper has
a present severe emotional disturbance that makes him a danger to the safety
of the community, while one Board member was in favor of Roper's release.
The family of Eddie Gibbs asked
the Board to defer Roper's release for as long as possible, arguing that he is
still a danger to the community and that they themselves feel they would not be
safe were he to be released. OCVLC's Legal Director, Ms. Brewer, spoke on behalf of Dennis Doern,
brother in law to Eddie Gibbs.
The hearing for Scott Wickee was a continuation of the
release hearing that was held in January of 2012. The Board has not
reached a decision in that matter.