CRANSTON – Michael Woodmansee, who killed South Kingstown's five-year old Jason Foreman in 1975 will be early released today, two days before his scheduled release.
“The [Foreman] family is upset and rightfully so. This is the third release date change from when they first heard back in the spring that he was being released early after serving only 29 years of a 40 year prison sentence,” Erik Wallin, the Foreman's lawyer said.
Earlier in the week, Woodmansee's release date was moved from Sept. 1 to Sept. 11 due to a disciplinary infraction on Aug. 20 when he failed to stand for the prison count. According to Department of Corrections spokeswoman, Tracy Zeckhausen, Woodmansee pleaded guilty to the offense and did not appeal, resulting in a loss of good time.
In 1982, Woodmansee was convicted of second-degree murder after he killed five-year old Jason Foreman in South Kingstown in 1975 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. After serving only 29 years in prison, Woodmansee was eligible for early release under the state’s good-time law. The convicted child killer has agreed to commit himself voluntarily to a state mental health facility rather than be released into the community.
This is the third time Woodmansee's release date has been changed. In May, Woodmansee’s prison term was extended and he was docked 10 days of early-release after he flushed a razor down a toilet.
“The family is preparing mentally for it. It's difficult to learn each time it changes,” Wallin said.
Now, the DOC announced Thursday that he will be released Friday, rather than Sunday as a result of a state provision in RI Law is RIGL §12-19-2 that permits the release of an inmate on the prior business day when his release date falls on a Saturday or Sunday or holiday. According to the DOC, the provision has been used in cases, like Woodmansee's, where an inmate's placement, or acceptance by a treatment provider, are paramount and public safety is a concern.
“Director A.T. Wall cannot, in good conscience, release Michael Woodmansee on Sunday without a secure placement for him. For this reason, he is exercising the discretion given by Rhode Island law and releasing him on Friday, Sept. 9,” the DOC stated in a press release. “We would not be permitted to delay his release until Monday the 12th, because an inmate cannot lawfully be held by the prison beyond the end of his prison term.”
For more information, pick up a copy of Friday's The Narragansett Times.