Man enters guilty pleas in 3 cold case murders - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold cases closed: Sex offender pleads guilty to three murders

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The families of three cold case murder victims are one step closer to getting closure.

Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Cutlip entered guilty pleas in the three murder cases Wednesday.

Cutlip pleaded guilty to two counts of murder for the deaths of Marlene Carlson, 44, in 1975 and Julie Bennett, 15, in 1977; and to one count of aggravated murder for the death of Nilene Doll, 33, in 1993.

Relatives of Bennett and Carlson were at the hearing.

"It means he's going to have to pay for what he did and he won't be able to hurt anybody else and the family is very grateful and thankful," said Jan Terry, the sister of Bennett.

Convicted of sodomy and burglary in 1982, Cutlip was classified as a predatory sex offender in Oregon. Records show he spent much of the past three decades in and out of prison.

The murders remained unsolved until July 2012 when Cutlip, living in Texas, called Brownsville police to admit his involvement. He was arrested and extradited to Portland.

Portland police cold case Detective Jim Lawrence said the plea deal was satisfying because it spared the families the pain of a trial and will keep Cutlip behind bars.

"Jeff Cutlip has always characterized himself by his behavior, not so much his sentence, as being the kind of offender fictional movies are made to depict," said Lawrence. "And that wasn't a conscious decision on his part, I believe that's just who he is."

Cutlip's attorney said his client is looking forward to the resolution of the cases. He declined to discuss why Cutlip decided to come forward.

As part of the plea deal, Cutlip will receive three consecutive life sentences. His official sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 16.

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