A man who organized the murder of his best friend nearly three decades ago will remain behind bars at the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Tony Wik, who is currently serving a life sentence for killing Rob Elledge in 1986, was hoping to be released on parole.
But after a three-hour-long hearing Wednesday, the parole board deliberated just 15 minutes before unanimously voting to deny parole for Wik.
The board said he hasn't taken full responsibility for the crime and portrays himself as a victim. They also cited his current mental state is a reason why he would be a danger to society if released.
Wik was convicted of hiring two other men to kill Elledge. The three of them ambushed the 21-year-old at his Oregon City home, hit him with a bat and injected him with horse tranquilizer. They then moved the body and buried it in a shallow grave. Wik planned to sell his dead friend's belongings to make money.
"I deserve to be able to continue my life," Wik told the board during the hearing through a TV monitor.
Wik said he is trying to turn his life around in prison by attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and working as a welder.
But he got defensive when asked about his involvement in the murder of Elledge.
"That's definitely not true," Wik told a board member when asked about his co-defendants testimony against him. "It's not true."
Elledge's family members made emotional victim impact statements asking the parole board not release Wik.
"Why I'm here today is not for revenge," said Elledge's mother, Mary. "I could care less about Tony. He's evil. I don't want him out to hurt anyone else. That would the worst thing besides the murder of my son."
Wik will be up for another parole hearing in four years.
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