SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In 1994, Kyle Hedquist led a teenager down a remote logging road, then shot her in the back of the head because he feared she might tell police about burglaries he’d committed.
This month, Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown granted clemency to Hedquist, who was serving a life sentence without parole after being convicted of murdering Nikki Thrasher when he was 17. Brown’s act is unleashing a storm of criticism from prosecutors and law enforcement.
However, Brown said she has denied most clemency requests.
“Clemency is an action I reserve for individuals who have demonstrated that they have made incredible changes in their lives to rehabilitate themselves, take accountability for their crimes, and dedicate themselves to making their communities a better place,” Brown said.
While locked up in the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Hedquist spent over 20 years volunteering for hospice care services, said Liz Merah, Brown’s spokeswoman.
I’m glad that this murder had a chance to grow and enjoy a life of service. Remember that the young lady who he murdered never got that chance. He took her future.