PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — The brothers of murdered director of the Oregon Correction Department are calling on the Oregon Department of Justice to release his convicted murderer.
Kevin and Patrick Francke released a family statement the day after Oregon U.S. Magistrate Judge John Acosta ruled Frank Gable’s conviction for the 1989 murder of Micheal Francke was legally flawed. Acosta ruled Gable must be released within 90 days or retried for the killing — a daunting challenge because many of the witnesses against him have recanted their trial testimony or died.
Gable was convicted of stabbing the corrections director to death after being caught breaking into his car outside the department headquarters. Gable has consistently denied the killing and no physical evidence ties him to the scene. Kevin and Patrick have long charged that Michael was killed by corrupt department employees that feared the then-director was beginning to investigate.
“Our client has spent nearly 30 years incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. Always maintaining his innocence, he has waited a long time for the day he would be exonerated. He put his faith in our team. While those lost years cannot be restored, Judge Acosta’s ruling finally has brought Mr. Gable the justice he has hoped for,” the Federal Public Defenders office said Friday.
The Oregon Department of Justice must now decide whether to appeal or comply with the ruling. It is unclear whether Gable could be released during an appeal.
Here is the Francke brothers’ statement, which was released by Patrick:
The State’s response in the coming days will determine the course; in the meantime, we celebrate years of determination by a few to see that justice was served. God bless our Republic; God bless the USA.
You can read a previous Portland Tribune story on the case here.