- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2006

RICHMOND (AP) — The man who killed Virginia’s most notorious sex offender will serve 12 years in prison for the slaying.

Dewey Keith “Frankie” Venable was sentenced last week for the Jan. 13, 2004, beating and strangulation of his cellmate, Richard Alvin Ausley, who was 64.

Venable, 26, had been molested as a child and said he had warned a corrections officer not to put him in the same cell as Ausley at Sussex I State Prison, one of Virginia’s most secure correctional facilities.

Ausley gained notoriety in recent years as the offender who prompted a Virginia law that allows the indefinite confinement of violent sexual predators for treatment once their prison terms are finished.

His actions in 1973, however, seared his name in the memories of many Virginians. That year he abducted a 13-year-old Portsmouth boy, chained him in an underground box and repeatedly sexually assaulted him.

Paul Martin Andrews was that teenager.

“I do believe this incident is a sad testimony to how much destruction one sexual predator can leave in his wake,” Mr. Andrews told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Mr. Andrews, now 47, was a key advocate during legislative hearings on the confinement law.

Venable had been facing the death penalty for Ausley’s murder, but in a plea agreement, he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years, with 7 years suspended.

Venable could have been sentenced to a maximum of 40 years.

“I think it was a fair resolution for both sides under the circumstances,” said his attorney, R. Clinton Clary.

As to why Venable was assigned to the same cell as Ausley, Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor told the Times-Dispatch: “I can’t discuss any of this because inmate-record information is not releasable nor is information contained in our investigation.”

At the time of Ausley’s slaying, Venable was serving an 18-year, nine-month sentence for nine felony convictions in Virginia Beach in 2001.

The charges included carjacking, abduction, robbery and illegal use of a firearm.

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