Convicted murderer freed in McMinnville
With credit for good time, he had completed his sentence. And because he had been staying at a Newberg motel at the time of his arrest, officials ordered him to begin his post-prison supervision in Yamhill County, rejecting his preference for Douglas County in Southern Oregon.
Cox, who was 29 when he went to prison and 49 when he got out, is spending his nights in the Yamhill County Jail because he has no other place to live. He is free to move about town during the daytime, as long as he reports back to the jail by 8 p.m.
However, his supervision terms bar him from parks, school grounds and any location where alcohol is served. And he is wearing a GPS device that allows community corrections to enforce those stipulations by tracking his whereabouts.
“He does have distinct and difficult conditions,” said Capt. Tim Svenson of the sheriff’s office. “He joked about what he ‘can do.’ He’s on a tight leash.
Svenson said, “He will be on a tight leash until such time as he is able to secure a job and a stable residence. It’s up to community corrections how long it wants him residing in our jail.
“Community corrections wants him to find a job. It wants him reintegrated back into the community so he can be successful.”
However, Svenson noted, “He’s only required to reside in his county of record for six months. Then he could request a waiver for release to another county.”
He never had many local ties.
However, he was under probation supervision at the time of his murder arrest on a Yamhill County conviction for first-degree forgery. That required him to maintain residence in the county, making it his county of record with the state Department of Corrections.
“He really wanted to go to Douglas County,” Svenson said. “He was not happy about having to come back to Yamhill County.
“He wants to do everything he can not to stay in jail and not to stay here. Our hope is that translates into him abiding by the conditions of his post-prison supervision.”
Cox completed his sentence at the minimum-security Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in the Central Oregon community of Madras. The Department of Corrections transported him to Salem and two members of the county’s Community Corrections Department picked him up there.
After Cox arrived in McMinnville, he was processed, fitted with the tracking device and introduced to his jail quarters.
He celebrated his first full day of freedom Friday by leaving the jail at the appointed hour of 8 a.m. He returned well before his 8 p.m. deadline, according to Svenson.
Cox was convicted two years before the passage of Measure 11, which would have earned him at least 50 years in prison. By then, he would have been 79.
He continues to be under active investigation in other slaying cases, including one in Mountlake Terrace, Wash. There is no statute of limitations on homicide.