Gable’s attorneys and the attorneys for the Oregon Department of Justice battled back and forth about whether or not he should be returned to jail. The three judges sitting on the appeals court panel decided to take a break without reaching a verdict.
In 1989, the tragic murder of Michael Francke, who was the director of Oregon’s prison system, sent the state of Oregon into a state of shock. Gable was found guilty and served a thirty-year sentence in prison.
But in 2019, a federal magistrate judge named John Acosta decided that Gable was probably innocent and that no reasonable jury would convict him. As a result, Acosta issued an order that Gable is released awaiting a new trial.
A significant portion of the hearing that took place on Monday focused on Johnny Crouse, a low-level offender in Salem who admitted to killing Francke before Gable was taken into custody. Crouse’s confession was significant in Acosta’s eyes since it contained information that was only likely to be known by the perpetrator. However, Crouse then changed his mind about the confession, and Gable’s attorneys were not permitted to use it as evidence during the trial of their client.
The attorney for Gable claimed that the verdict that was handed down by Acosta should be upheld by the appeals court due to the confession and proof that the police committed misconduct while investigating the crime. The state’s counsel argued that Crouse’s confession could not be trusted, that the judge’s decision should be overturned, and that Gable should be sent back to jail.
It is interesting to note that Kevin Francke, the brother of the person whose death Gable was guilty of causing, is Gable’s most outspoken admirer.
In a statement, Francke stated that “the state has nothing to show” and that the session before the court ought to be brief. According to him, the state of Oregon is aware that “there is no evidence, no witnesses, and no motive or opportunity to support their case,” as well as the fact that “he has a valid, confirmed alibi which places him miles away from the scene of the murder.” He also stated that the state is aware that “there is no evidence, no witnesses, and no opportunity to support their case.”
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