Roseburg, Or (KMTR) Convicted of killing a highly decorated Marine Corps Flying Ace and Maj. Gen. Marion Carl in 1998, an Oregon Death Row inmate has had his death sentence overturned. A Marion County Judge has overturned the death sentence for 32 year old Jesse Fanus who was 19 at the time of the murder.
The Judge says during the trial the Defense Attorney failed to adequately represent Fanus, because he didn't disclose to the jury that Fanus had been abused as a child.
Friends of Carl say they think the overturned sentence is unfounded. They say an abusive childhood doesn't explain away such a senseless act.
"I think it's a sad state of affairs legally that he was allowed to do this. I didn’t have an ideal childhood and I’ll be the first to admit that,” says longtime friend and fellow Marine, 1st Sgt. Jim Barnett, “there have been a lot of people I’ve met in life that have had it worse off then I did but have found a way to turn their life around and make themselves into something special."
Beyond his personal ties to the case, Barnett says he's concerned about tax payer dollars being spent to change Fanus's sentence, and how re-living the trial will affect Carl’s family.
Maj. Gen. Carl was extremely decorated. The first Marine Corps Ace in World War II, he shot down eighteen planes and continuing to serve later in Vietnam. Friends say even with all the accolades, he remained humble, warm, and welcoming.