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Released Sex Offender Ordered Back To Prison

A Spokane resident who spent nine years on death row in California was sent back to prison last week after violating terms of his release as a sex offender in Pend Oreille County.

Clay Hines, 56, was ordered to prison for the six years and nine months remaining on his suspended sentence for first-degree child molestation.

Pend Oreille County Superior Court Judge Larry Kristianson ruled that Hines, who was living in an apartment at 6616 N. Nevada in Spokane, repeatedly violated terms of his release by having contact with children.

According to court documents, Hines revealed bizarre behavior and fantasies to probation officers and counselors in an outpatient sex-offender program.

Among other things, Hines reported stalking a disabled woman and fantasizing about skinning his girlfriend.

Hines also told authorities he was obsessed with pubescent girls and was skilled at spotting which of them could be victimized easily. He called potential victims “a walking billboard.”

Kristianson sentenced Hines in 1992 to 30 days of community service and ordered him to undergo outpatient sex-offender treatment after Hines was convicted of molesting a young girl. A corrections officer reported last week that Hines continued to molest the girl up to three months after he was convicted.

Hines was supposed to have been put to death for the execution-style slaying of a Venice, Calif., liquor store clerk in 1962.

Hines shot the clerk during a robbery after the man fired at him in self-defense and missed. Police records indicate the wounded clerk fell behind a counter and Hines leaned over and shot him four more times.

When California abolished the death penalty in the early 1970s, Hines’ death sentence was converted to life in prison. He was paroled in 1976 and released from supervision in 1979.

Although Kristianson ordered Hines not to be around children, Hines acknowledged he frequently came in contact with them.

Court records say Hines claimed to be a self-taught Choctaw medicine man and was trusted by numerous vulnerable people he undertook to heal with his drums and rattles.

He consistently failed to warn them about his criminal record and his prohibition against being around minors.

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