- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon man who served 24 years for raping and killing a high school classmate was released Thursday after years of hearings and appeals.

Conrad Engweiler, 40, left the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem before dawn, KATU-TV (https://bit.ly/1zdGPa2 ) reported.

Asked what he planned to do, he replied: “Just do good. Do good. Give back to the community.”

Engweiler was convicted of aggravated murder, rape and sodomy in the killing of 16-year-old Erin Reynolds of Beaverton in 1990. He was 15 then. They had met months earlier as students at Sunset High School.

His case was repeatedly before the courts because he was initially sentenced under unclear guidelines. The Oregon Supreme Court had ordered the state parole board to get ready to release him.

The board’s decision to free him followed an exit interview hearing in May and another hearing in August.

In May, he told the board he intended only to steal Reynold’s car but got angry when she wouldn’t hand over the keys. Then, he said, he raped her, strangled her with a rope, dragged her body to a pile of yard debris and hit her head repeatedly with a vodka bottle.

He told the board his years in prison taught him remorse, empathy and compassion.

The state parole board called his crimes heinous and vicious but said it had to follow rules in effect at the time of the killing. Reynolds’ family has long objected to his release.

He is to be under the supervision of Deschutes County parole and probation authorities for three years and must register as a sex offender. His father lives in Sisters.

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Information from: KATU-TV, https://www.katu.com/

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