The “thrill killer” who fatally shot a Bend jogger got what he asked for Thursday: at least another two years in prison.
Jeffrey Spoonire, 37, first told the state Parole Board he wished he could be released to “have another chance to prove myself.”
Spoonire also said he had benefited from mental-health counseling and that he believed he had “been forgiven by my higher power.”
But then late in the hearing, he asked the board to set back his possible parole date by another 24 months so he could participate in more programs.
After brief deliberations, the board agreed, setting another tentative parole date for December 1999.
Spoonire is serving a life sentence for the 1982 murder of nurse Mary Ann Hoser as she jogged along a logging road near Bend. He told authorities he shot her to see what a bullet would do to a human head.
Inmates are entitled to parole hearings every two years under the law that was in effect at the time Spoonire committed his crime.
Parole Board member Michael Washington told Spoonire the panel concluded he has a severe emotional disturbance.
“You are still a danger to the point that you can’t be released in the community,” Washington said.
Spoonire told the board he no longer considers himself violent and that his problems when he was younger involved drugs and a fixation with guns.
He said getting a gun and “going back to the drug culture” would be the biggest potential negative influences on his behavior if he were released.
Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan, who prosecuted the case, said there was no suggestion that Spoonire was under the influence of drugs when the crime was committed. At the time, Spoonire was on probation after being convicted of animal cruelty for shooting dogs.
“He’s not changed,” Dugan said.
“Who’ll be the next victim in his cross-hairs?” asked Myrtle Highland, the victim’s mother-in-law. “Our Mary Ann will never have a parole date.”
It was after her testimony that Spoonire said he wanted another 24-month postponement of a possible release date.
Highland collected more than 2,000 signatures from Bend merchants and others urging the board not to free Spoonire.
The National Rifle Association also submitted more than 4,000 signatures to the Parole Board urging that Spoonire serve his full prison term, spokeswoman Elizabeth Swasey said.
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