Convicted killer now says he recalls 1986 incident

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Associated Press

Posted on July 7, 2011 at 9:06 AM

DRAPER, Utah (AP) — A Utah prison inmate who said 25 years ago that he was drinking a case of beer a day and talking to cockroaches when he killed a transient woman in a Salt Lake City canyon now remembers the details of the incident but cannot explain his actions.

During a hearing before a parole board member, William Michael Raine said he remembers taking Vivian Morse, 43, to Emigration Canyon on June 30, 1986, after meeting her at a bar. Once in the canyon that is just east of Salt Lake City, he raped her and beat her to death with a crowbar.

Raine, who was 23 at the time and is now 49, said during the hearing that he thinks about the killing daily, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. The hearing was his first since 1988.

In 1987, Raine pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder. At the time, he said his drinking caused him to black out and he didn't remember the murder.

"My brain, I guess you could say it was pickled," he said.

While he now remembers the killing, he said he still can't explain why he killed Morse.

The parole board member who conducted the hearing said that the lack of an explanation would likely hurt Raine's chance for release. A decision is not expected for a couple of weeks.

No defense attorneys or prosecutors were present during the hearing, Utah Board of Parole and Pardons spokesman Jim Hatch said.

Utah Attorney General spokesman Paul Murphy said prosecutors are not usually involved in parole hearings.

Raine's sister Pamela Binnie said after the hearing that "he's taken tremendous steps" during his time in prison.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com

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