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Accomplice in clerk's murder out of prison.

Byline: Jeff Wright The Register-Guard

A second man convicted in the brutal murder of a Eugene convenience store clerk in 1994 has been released from prison and is now on supervision in Lane County.

Daniel Paul Rabago, 26, helped plan the robbery of a Dari-Mart store in west Eugene that ended in the murder of clerk Frances Wall. Another clerk, Donna Ream, barely survived the April 10, 1994, assault.

Rabago, 16 at the time of the crime, was tried in adult court and sentenced in 1995 to 12 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to two counts of felony murder and other charges. He was released last Friday from the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem.

Rabago received his plea-bargained sentence after turning state's evidence against Michael James Hayward and Jason Van Brumwell, the two men who carried out the attack.

Hayward is on death row for killing Wall, 28, with a metal bar. Brumwell, who attacked Ream, also was convicted of aggravated murder and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

A fourth man, getaway driver Johl Dawson Brock, was released from prison in 2002 and is on post-prison supervision through September 2005, said Larry Wibbenmeyer, Brock's parole and probation officer.

Rabago, however, will face post-prison supervision for the rest of his life, said Shawn Hoban, Rabago's parole and probation officer. Special conditions include that Rabago not contact any victim or a victim's family members, or any of his co-defendants, Hoban said.

He said he's not allowed to comment on the particulars of Rabago's supervision. But he said community safety is the top priority, and all cases are regularly reviewed to determine how often an offender must check in with parole officers.

Dan Wall, Fran Wall's widower, said he's nonetheless upset about Rabago's release and especially worried for the safety and emotional stability of his children. He said his son and daughter, now 15 and 14, are fearful that Rabago's release will make it more difficult to get on with their lives.

Dan Wall shared a poem written by his son, Danny Jr., titled "Mother." One stanza reads: "I've had this feeling since my mother died/Like someone's coming, like I have to hide/I don't like it, it clouds my mind/I wish I could go and leave it behind."

Dan Wall said he believes Rabago deserved a harsher sentence in light of court testimony that he hatched the robbery plot with Brumwell, and offered up two weapons he'd made in high school shop class for use in the assault.

"If he can rehabilitate himself, that's great," Wall said. "But anyone who's taken somebody's life, who knows if it's going to happen (again)?"

Assistant District Attorney Kent Mortimore, who prosecuted the case, said Rabago was "the least involved of the four," and along with Brock played a crucial role in making sure that Hayward and Brumwell "would never see freedom again."

"That's the price we paid for their testimony," Mortimore said. "It seemed appropriate at the time, and the results we got bear that out."

Mortimore noted that he pushed to have Rabago tried in adult court, not a common practice for juveniles in 1994 before minimum sentences for certain crimes became state law. Rabago otherwise could have been released from the juvenile system at age 21.

Trial testimony revealed that Rabago stood guard inside the store during the attack, and was later teased by the others for not participating in the beatings.

Rabago himself testified about his penchant for satanic worship, constant drug use and desire to act out the morbid lyrics of death metal music.

Lane County Circuit Judge David Brewer, referring to "the malevolent sickness that infected this crime," told Rabago that he deserved a longer term.
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Title Annotation:Crime; Daniel Rabago helped plan the robbery that ended in the killing of Frances Wall
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 9, 2004
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