SEATTLE (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has overturned a decision to grant parole to man who killed three tavern workers during a robbery in 1980.
Timothy Pauley was 21 when he and associate Scott Carl Smith robbed the Barn Door Tavern near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after closing time, using extension cords to tie up three women and two men who were cleaning up. They forced the women to undress and brought the men into a walk-in cooler, where Pauley executed them with a revolver.
One of the women, Linda Burford, was strangled by a cord used to tie her to a bar rail. The other two women — cook Sherri Beckham and Margaret Dowell, the wife of slain night manager Loran Dowell — survived.
Despite opposition from the victims’ families and the King County prosecutor’s office, the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board unanimously found Pauley rehabilitated and eligible for parole.
The decision followed a March hearing at which Pauley noted he had completed years of counseling for drug and alcohol abuse and for post-traumatic stress disorder for a workplace injury he suffered before the killings.
Pauley told the board he panicked during the killings and that he did not know why he shot the men, Dowell and bartender Robert Pierre. Pauley also said he wanted to be known for something more than his horrible crime.
But in an order released by the governor’s office on Friday, Inslee said he did not believe Pauley had shown appropriate remorse. Pauley did not apologize to the victims’ family members, who attended the online parole hearing in March, nor refer to the victims by name, Inslee noted.
“For Mr. Pauley’s rehabilitation to be complete, he must engage in serious introspection to ultimately achieve and affirmatively demonstrate both a full acceptance of his responsibility and remorse,” Inslee wrote.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg similarly objected to Pauley’s release, writing to the board that “the atrocities committed by Mr. Pauley and Mr. Smith to the people at the Barn Door Tavern remain one of the most notorious crimes ever perpetrated in King County.”
Satterberg insisted that Pauley had never fully owned up to his actions. He also noted that in a 2012 letter, Pauley suggested Department of Corrections staff should be killed and described one corrections department employee as subhuman.
The governor returned the case to the sentence review board for further proceedings. Smith also remains in prison.
This story corrects the name of Pauley’s associate to Scott Carl Smith, not Steven Smith.