Erik Meiser sentenced to life for machete killing

Meiser has the possibility of parole after 25 years

Erik John Meiser, Sept. 22, 2012 (KOIN 6 News file)
Erik John Meiser, Sept. 22, 2012 (KOIN 6 News file)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man convicted of killing a Lake Oswego man with a machete has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Erik Meiser was found guilty of murder in October for the Sept. 2012 death of Fritz Hayes Jr. Meiser may have faced the death penalty but the judge removed the option due to Meiser’s mental illness.

Margaret Hayes, the victim’s wife, spoke in court Tuesday.

“He told me he would always be there for me,” she said. “He was the captain of our ship and suddenly I’m adrift with no wind in my sails.”

Meiser did not speak in court during his sentencing.

Court documents showed Meiser was armed with a machete while robbing Hayes’ home. Hayes and his wife went for a walk, but when they returned home they found Meiser in the middle of a burglary. Meiser then killed Hayes.

The trial has been long and drawn out for Meiser. Originally, in April 2013, Meiser was ruled competent to stand trial. Then he asked for a speedy trial, but the judge delayed it, saying more time was needed for a defense. In that time, after multiple mental evaluations, Meiser was ruled unfit to stand trial.