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'Cold-blooded' murderer given clemency by Oregon governor

Gov. Kate Brown, (D-OR), in early April, freed Kyel Hedquist, a man who was serving a life sentence for a gruesome killing in 1994.

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Gov. Kate Brown, (D-OR), in early April, freed Kyle Hedquist, a man who was serving a life sentence for a gruesome killing in 1994.

She has been criticized not only for giving Hedquist the pardon, but for doing so in secret, and not even "bothering to tell the victim's family that he was back on the streets."

"He took the life of my daughter in cold blood. It was a cold-blooded murder. He planned it," Holly Thrasher, the mother of the victim, said during an interview after having found out about her daughter's killer going free. "I am upset. I wasn’t even told."

Kyle Hedquist (Photo: Oregon Department of Corrections)

In 1994, Hedquist led Nikki Thrasher into a remote area and then shot her in the back of the head killing her. The motive for the murder has been established as keeping her quiet about a string of other crimes he had committed, of which she had detailed knowledge.

Gov. Brown has defended herself, according to the Daily Mail, by saying that Hedquist, now 45 years old, deserves clemency because he was 17 years old at the time he committed the act.

"Teenagers, even those who have committed terrible crimes, have a unique capacity for growth and change. We are a state and a nation of second chances," she later commented to the media.

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