Robert Evan Lee sentenced to 60 years for killing, dismembering woman; getting out after 25 years
Dept. of Corrections trying to find place for Lee
Last Updated: 245 days ago
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Robert Evan Lee, 57, was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the 1986 murder and dismemberment of a woman, but he is being released early.
Lee was supposed to be released on Thursday, just 25 years into his sentence, but because the Department of Correction is having a difficult time finding a place for him to go he won't be released until Saturday.
Backstreet Ministries is a homeless shelter that has accepted murderers before. It has 28 beds and usually houses 20 men a night, but when asked to take on Lee, it said no.
"We want to be able to minister, and as I said the man definitely needs ministry. But we have to consider the rest of the people who are staying here as well," said Linda Kelley, president of Backstreet Ministries. "We have to balance our decisions."
Kelley said they determined Lee was too violent.
Lee killed and dismembered 31-year-old Ellen Marks in September 1986. Her body was found in Hefty bags in a field at 10th and Summitt. Police said they are not looking forward to Lee's return.
"It is upsetting. The law is in place. He has been convicted. He's done his time, now he is being released. A lot of people are troubled with the fact that he wants to come back to Bloomington," said Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff.
When Lee gets back, all eyes will be on him.
"We have a difficult time placing these people, but our supervision of him will be enhanced because of the notoriety of the crime," said Doug Garrison, spokesman for Indiana Department of Corrections. "We will have him on GPS monitoring. We will be able to track his movements."
Marks' cousin, John Stein, who lives in Oregon, is resigned to Lee's release.
"The laws are imperfect. They are imperfect in this situation. We have to suffer the dangers of having horrible people live among us," Stein said.
Lee was given credit for so-called good time, which cut his 60 year sentence in half, plus he had an additional four years lopped off for completing vocational courses, obtaining his associates degree and his bachelor's degree in business management.
The Department of Correction is still looking for a place for Lee to land, but it won't be at Backstreet Ministries, although Kelley said she is praying for him.
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