Family fights to keep girl’s killer behind bars

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The family of a woman who was brutally raped and murdered 24 years ago is fighting to keep her killer behind bars.

FILE – An undated photo of Erin Reynolds’ killer, Conrad Engwieller, who has a hearing May 13 that may lead to an earlier release from prison for him.
FILE – An undated photo of Erin Reynolds’ killer, Conrad Engwieller, who has a hearing May 13 that may lead to an earlier release from prison for him.

Conrad Engwieller is part of the “Oregon Five,” five juveniles who committed aggravated murder before mandatory sentencing guidelines were put in place. Now, after years of legal battles, Engwieller is up for parole and the victim’s family believe he should not.

On Feb. 21, 1990, Erin Reynolds, who was 16 at the time, was raped and strangled to death by one of her own classmates, Engwieller, who was 15 at the time. The Sunset High School student then tossed Reynolds body down a ravine near his father’s house off Skyline Boulevard, according to court documents.

At the time, Engwieller blamed drugs, but years later, he admitted to the murder.

“We relive her murder over and over every single time and every single time this happens it gets worse,” said Beth Greear, Reynolds’ sister.

Engwieller was convicted of aggravated murder in 1991 and given a life term with a minimum of 30 years, a sentence the law didn’t allow at the time.

FILE – An undated photo of Erin Reynolds, who was brutally raped and murdered 24 years ago at the age of 16, that was provided by her family.
FILE – An undated photo of Erin Reynolds, who was brutally raped and murdered 24 years ago at the age of 16, that was provided by her family.

Therefore, years later, Reynolds family said the parole board lifted that minimum and imposed a sentence of 40 years before consideration for parole.

“If he was remorseful, he would just sit his butt in prison and do his time until 2030, but I will never believe that he’s remorseful,” said Greear.

However, in 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that the board over stepped its authority with the 40 year sentence and set a release date for 2018.

Following years of appeals and legal moves by Engwieller and his attorney, his hearing was held Tuesday.

“He’s got everyone believing that he’s been reformed and I don’t believe him and I don’t think anybody else should either. What he did was horrible,” said Greear.

The parole board did not make a decision and said they will take as long as needed to make a decision.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story and provide updates.

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