Frank Gable is getting out.
In the latest twist to one of the strangest crime sagas in Oregon history, state justice officials have agreed to a supervised release from prison for Gable—who was convicted in 1991 of murdering Oregon's prisons chief.
The Portland Tribune first reported on the state's reversal.
Gable, a low-level Salem meth dealer, was convicted of the 1989 murder of Michael Francke, then director of the Oregon Department of Corrections. Francke was stabbed to death in the parking lot outside his office.
More than a half dozen witnesses who testified against Gable have since recanted their testimony, and other suspects have emerged.
In April, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Acosta ruled that the state must retry Gable or release him. In May, Oregon Deputy Attorney General Fred Boss filed a motion to stay Acosta's ruling and filed notice of DOJ's intention to appeal.
But today, Gable's public defender Nell Brown filed a motion asking for him to be released for three years with supervision, while Oregon justice officials decide whether to retry him. "While the State's stay motion opposed Mr. Gable's release pending appeal, the State has since revised its position," Brown wrote.
In her motion today, Brown reminded the federal court of the unusual circumstances surrounding the case.
"Mr. Gable has served nearly thirty years in prison," she wrote, "for a conviction that is, at worst, the wrongful conviction of an innocent man, and, at best, the product of a trial rife with highly suspect evidence and marred by errors of a constitutional magnitude."