Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Russell Obremski: A Killer's Luck

The Verdict

After deliberating for more than nine hours over two days, the jury reached a unanimous verdict: guilty on two counts of first-degree murder. According to one juror who was subsequently interviewed by the Eugene Register Guard, the insanity plea was rejected in the first few minutes of their deliberations. In Oregon, first-degree murder carried a mandatory life sentence, with automatic appeals.

"This is a man who should never be out of jail," Justin Smith, Jackson County district attorney, told 48 Hours.

At sentencing, Judge Sawyer was not specific whether Obremski's life sentences would be served concurrently or consecutively. "The question of whether the sentences be served consecutively or concurrently is moot," Sawyer said. "For this reason, the court will remain silent, but I feel sure that Mr. Obremski will not be released to return to society, and should not be released upon society."

This is a statement Judge Sawyer lived to regret.



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