PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The family of a 7-year-old girl who was kidnapped, sexually abused and killed is angry Oregon Governor Kate Brown is allowing the murderer the chance to possibly get out of prison.
Gov. Brown is allowing hundreds of inmates who were convicted as juveniles to apply to have their sentences cut short. She has already released three people who committed murders as teenagers and is allowing others to apply to the parole board for early release.
KOIN 6 News has confirmed one of those people is Patrick Harned — he was sentenced to life without parole for killing Ashley Carlson in Clatsop County.
In prison in Idaho for drug possession, Tessa Carlson talked to KOIN 6 News about her daughter Ashley and dealing with the news that the man who killed her is trying to get out of prison.
“I’m frustrated. This is frustrating,” Tessa Carlson said. “I’m really mad.”
Next Friday will mark 23 years since Harned killed Ashley. He was 16 years old at the time.
Harned was their neighbor and participated in the search for Ashley after she disappeared from her home.
“It’s all really hard right now. It’s all bringing up everything all over again,” Tessa said. “He helped me look for her, we found her on the 15th and we buried her on the 20th. So February’s a really, really hard month.”
Former Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis prosecuted Harned — and is now coming out of retirement to fight his release.
He says it was one of the cases that devastated the community most in his 25 years as DA.
“This man was never, ever, supposed to see the outside,” Marquis explained. “Judge Nelson, who presided over the trial, made a very hard decision and came back and said, ‘You know, I don’t think I’ve ever done this before — but you’re broken and you will never be safe to be in society.'”
Harned is now 39 years old. Ashely would have turned 30 last Friday.
“I miss her smile, her saying mommy, I miss her silliness. I miss that,” Tessa said. “I didn’t get to see her grow up.”
For weeks prosecutors didn’t realize Patrick Harned was on the list of hundreds of inmates who can try to get out of prison early because he changed his name in prison to Jessie Davin Payne-Rana. In court documents he told the Umatilla County judge in September of 2020: “That my current last name, Harned is associated with physical abuse that I experienced as a child at the hands of my father.”
The Oregon Parole Board confirms Harned has requested a hearing for early release but a date has not been scheduled.