Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Victim's kin happy parole bid is rejected


Woman remains in prison until at least 2009

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A former Clermont County woman who has served 161/2 years in prison for killing her former boyfriend will spend at least another nine years there, after her early-parole request was denied.

        The news that Katherine Courtney, 58, is ineligible for another parole hearing until February 2009 was a relief to the family of Robert Dean. Family membere had vehemently protested Ms. Courtney's possible release.

        “It feels really good,” Pansy Cress, Mr. Dean's daughter, said Tuesday. “But there's still a sadness there that will never go away.”

        Mr. Dean was shot in the chest by Ms. Courtney in August 1983 after he broke off their relationship. He died in front of his home at age 46. Ms. Courtney was convicted of aggravated murder and is now incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville.

        No official reason was given for the parole board's rejection.

        Mrs. Cress' notification from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction culminated a nine-month paperwork battle that began for her in September. That's when Mrs. Cress, of Goshen, Clermont County, was in formed that Ms. Courtney would appear before the parole board.

        The news was a shock to Mr. Dean's relatives because in March 1984, Ms. Courtney was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, plus an additional three years because her crime involved a handgun.

        The Cress family didn't expect to appear before a parole board to argue against Ms. Courtney's release until 2007. Victims' families have the right to appear at hearings, though they never meet the convict.

        Ms. Courtney was eligible for parole, however, because a law that has since been changed afforded good-behavior credit to some aggravated-murder convicts. To serve the full sentence, there had to be a special circumstance, usually that the murder was committed during another felony such as robbery or kidnapping.

        In her case, there was none.

        The development prompted Greg Chapman, Clermont County assistant prosecutor, who handled the Courtney trial in 1984, to file motions for a sentence amendment. That failed, leaving the victim's family to take their case right to the parole board, which held a hearing April 26.

        The family got copies of old police records and photographs, gathered the trial transcript, collected over 1,000 signatures and began to make their case.

       



Police-recruit age cap going away
Thousands of graduates and just as many stories
Ohio tax-cut bill moves forward
Concealed weapons disputed
Bush, in Ohio, stresses schools
KY PRIMARY: Bell wins 4th district primary
KY PRIMARY: Bush, Gore coast in Ky.
KY PRIMARY: Thin ballot means thin lines
KY PRIMARY: Winner facing uphill battle
CROWLEY: Morning after
KIESEWETTER: 'Dirty Pictures' producer persevered
A scholar and a teacher
AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH
Butler center a 'safe haven'
Call for peace in Millvale
Celebration kicks off hospital fund campaign
City manager survives vote
Democrat asks investigation
Fight over Kroger to be appealed
Former manager joins developer
Get to it
Hamilton shown way into future
Killer denied release; victim's family relieved
Lakota cutting $2M from budget
Man says Net porn left him scarred
Monroe OKs law requiring license for Bristol's club
MOVIE REVIEW: M:I2
Noise of trucks has village concerned
Police officer charged with domestic violence
Police want help finding I-75 shooter
Raid at home nets marijuana plants valued at $10,000
Schools finance director resigns
Sister pleads guilty, is fined for slapping Butler auditor
Teacher, dog demonstrate it's what's inside that counts
This pig is worth millions
- Victim's kin happy parole bid is rejected
Vote-rigging suspect released
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book