Daughter urges Oregon governor not to grant clemency to father’s killer: ‘I don’t understand why’

The family of an Oregon father murdered 17 years ago is fighting to keep one of his killers behind bars as Democrat Gov. Kate Brown considers clemency.

Sarah Olson, who was 19 when her father Dale Rost III was found shot to death in his home in 2005, told “America’s Newsroom” Thursday Gov. Brown is “seriously considering” granting clemency to one of two suspects serving a life sentence for robbery and murder

“This is something that [Brown] does,” Olson told co-host Bill Hemmer. This could really happen. Why she would do it I don’t understand. I don’t know why she feels the need to prioritize criminals over victims.” 

OREGON CHRISTMAS KILLER COULD GO FREE AFTER JUST 14 YEARS OF 25 TO LIFE SENTENCE IF GOV. BROWN GRANTS CLEMENCY

Oregon Governor Kate Brown speaks at the state capital building in Salem, Oregon, February 20, 2015.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown speaks at the state capital building in Salem, Oregon, February 20, 2015.
(REUTERS/Steve Dipaola )

The progressive governor has come under fire for her use of executive power after allowing nearly 1,000 convicts to leave prison early since 2020.

Olson says her family was tipped off eight months ago to Lynley Janet Rayburn’s clemency application and started a petition urging Gov. Brown to deny the request but has yet to hear a response.

Lynley Janet Rayburn and her then-boyfriend Gerard "AJ" Smith were convicted of robbery and murder after killing Dale Rost III on Dec. 23, 2005.

Lynley Janet Rayburn and her then-boyfriend Gerard “AJ” Smith were convicted of robbery and murder after killing Dale Rost III on Dec. 23, 2005.
(Yamhill County Correctional Facility)

“We had taken this to the media a couple of weeks ago and we haven’t heard a word from her,” Olson said. “They put out a statement just saying that this whole process is, you know, trauma-centered and victim-informed, and we have experienced quite the opposite.

Brown’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. A spokesman for Brown told Fox News Digital the governor has yet to make a decision on the case.

“Governor Brown believes that granting clemency is an extraordinary act that should be reserved for individuals who have made incredible changes and who are dedicated to making their communities better,” spokesperson Charles Boyle said. “She evaluates clemency applications on a case-by-case basis and considers a variety of factors about the applicant’s history and case when making those decisions.”

Rayburn admitted to taking part in the crime alongside then-boyfriend Gerard “AJ” Smith on multiple occasions and pleaded guilty in 2006, according to court documents. 

Rayburn and Smith were high on meth and armed with a rifle when they encountered Rost III on his property. They hogtied him, raided his home and shot him the head days before Christmas.

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Olson remembers her dad as a “give you the shirt off your back type of guy.”

“He was so nice,” she said. “He didn’t know a stranger. He was so friendly and so non-judgmental… anyone could just be themselves around him. And I mean, he’s just the last person that ever deserves something like this.”

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.

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