Friday, October 2, 2009

Jeff Luers back in custody after mistaken release


Jeff Luers back in custody after mistaken release


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)--Self-proclaimed anarchist Jeff Luers was released Friday after years in prison for setting trucks ablaze in an environmental protest ­ but he was back in custody within hours.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jennifer Black said a mistake was made in calculating the amount to time off Luers could get for good behavior.

Luers was convicted in June 2001 and sentenced to 23 years in prison after he admitted setting a fire at a Eugene car dealership that destroyed a pickup truck and damaged two other trucks. He did not admit to putting an incendiary device on an oil delivery truck in Eugene, but was convicted in that case, too.

The case drew widespread attention and groups around the country raised money to help him, while the city of Eugene's Human Rights Commission wrote a letter urging his sentence be reduced.

Eventually, his sentence was cut to 10 years, making him eligible to release this year with time off for good behavior.

That release came Friday morning from a Portland prison, but he was picked up again when he checked in with his parole officer in Eugene, Black said.

Black said the error occurred in determining Luer's time off. He had qualified for a 20 percent reduction in his sentence for good behavior, and authorities took another 10 percent off under terms of recent legislation designed to reduce the state prison population. But Black said they learned after releasing him that one of Luers' convictions did not qualify under the law

His new release date is Dec. 16.


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