KENNEWICK, WA - A man who violently attacked a Richland police officer more than 20 years ago is up for parole. The Benton County prosecutor and local law enforcement are doing everything they can to keep him behind bars.
The Benton County prosecutor and regional law enforcement are requesting Governor Jay Inslee take executive action to cancel Jerry Dale Lain's parole.
Some officers describe Lain's attack on Richland police Officer Mike Fitzpatrick as a "vicious" act. Lain shot Fitzpatrick in the face in 1982. Local law enforcement is convinced Lain is still a threat to the public.
"He showed no remorse after he shot Officer Fitzpatrick and while he's been in prison he hasn't made progress in treatment. He still continues to display bad behavior and violent behavior," said Andy Miller, Benton County Prosecutor.
Miller wrote the letter to Governor Inslee that was signed by Kennewick, Richland and West Richland police chiefs and the Benton County sheriff.
"His record there and his continued problems that he's had there, it just looks like he's going to be a threat when he's let back out whether it's to a police officer or one of our citizens. I just think that's the wrong thing to do," Sheriff Steve Keane, Benton County.
The letter requests Governor Inslee review the decision made by a sentencing review board that determined Lain parolable.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the state supreme court agree Inslee has the authority to keep Lain in prison.
When Lain took Officer Fitzpatrick's gun and shot him, it changed his life forever.
"Injuries that ended Officer Fitzpatrick's career prematurely. He was a great police officer. He's had to deal with health issues ever since," Miller said.
Officials hope this letter will protect others from a similar or worse fate.
"We're going to do the right thing. We need to examine all the facts before we can make a decision that could have a catastrophic impact on a community," said Sheriff Keane.
Three years ago Governor Christine Gregoire reviewed Lain's first degree assault charges and prison behavior. She cancelled his parole. The law enforcement community hope Inslee will do the same.