Board considering releasing man convicted of killing officer - KPTV - FOX 12

Board considering releasing man convicted of killing John Day police officer

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Sidney Dean Porter Sidney Dean Porter

For the second time this year, the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision is considering releasing a man convicted of killing a John Day police officer.

The board granted Sidney Dean Porter's release on post-prison supervision earlier this year, but rescinded the June release after a request from Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Porter has served 21 years of a life sentence for the 1992 aggravated murder of Officer Frank Ward, who was killed when he responded to reports of fighting at Porter's home.

"I didn't mean to kill that man and I'm so d*** sorry," Porter said on Monday.

In a prior hearing, he told the board he didn't know Ward was a police officer and that the man hit his head on a wood stove while they were fighting.

Grant County District Attorney Ryan Joslin, who was not at February's hearing, told the board Porter lacked remorse because he was not telling the truth about what happened that night.

"You'll see clearly Mr. Porter lied to you on many key points," said Joslin, who provided the board with a memo he said detailed inconsistencies between Porter's statements and official reports from the medical examiner and interviews with witnesses.

Joslin also brought a large piece of firewood he said Porter used to hit Ward in the head after beating him with his fists.

"There's no way he could have taken this, twice, and crushed it on the head of Officer Ward and intended anything but to murder Officer Ward," Joslin said, after lifting the heavy piece of wood up and slamming in on a table in front of the board.

Porter told the board he accepted responsibility for the crime and has changed in prison.

"I know with no doubt with a little help out there I can be very successful but it's going to take time, just like coming into this prison," said Porter.

Andy Simrin, Porter's attorney, told the board they needed to release his client immediately.

Simrin said the board violated state statute and its own rules by first granting and then rescinding release.

The board will consider statements made Monday, along with information from February's exit interview when they determine whether or not to release Porter.

A decision is expected in the next three weeks.

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