1 of ‘Fairbanks Four’ to get early parole

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — One of four men convicted in the 1997 beating death of a Fairbanks teenager will be released early after a state parole board ruled in his favor.

Marvin Roberts will be released in 2015 instead of 2020, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Wednesday.

The parole board agreed last week to move Roberts to a halfway house in June 2015. He could be released three months later if he takes classes and has been on good behavior while at the halfway house, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Richard Schmitz said.

Roberts, Eugene Vent, Kevin Pease and George Frese are serving sentences of 33 to 79 years at a Colorado prison after they were convicted of beating 15-year-old John Hartman to death on a downtown Fairbanks street corner in October 1997.

The four men have maintained their innocence and fought to win their release through court appeals and parole hearings.

Their campaign has been joined by the Alaska Innocence Project. Bill Oberly, director of the nonprofit, said his investigation into the killing has convinced him that Roberts is innocent.

Roberts has been a good prisoner without any serious rule violations, Oberly said.

More in Local News

It’s hard to find a parking spot at Wallace Falls State Park

There’s a study under way on how to tackle that issue and others.

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

Most Read