LANSING, Kan. — A 59-year-old Oregon man tasted freedom for the first time in nearly 30 years after being released from prison Friday for a crime he says he did not commit.
Some call Frank Gable’s case a miscarriage of justice.
Last month a federal judge ordered Gable to be released or retried after finding that an Oregon judge improperly excluded another man’s confession to the murder for which Gable was convicted.
Gable walked out of the Lansing Correctional Facility just after 10 a.m. as a free man for the first time in 29 years.
His wife, Rainy Storm, was there to greet him and the two plan to live at her home in Garnett, Kan. Gable had been convicted in 1989 of killing Michael Francke, head of Oregon’s Department of Corrections. Police found Francke stabbed to death near where he worked in Salem, Ore.
But Gable says he maintained his innocence from day one.
“We don’t really want to talk about the case or nothing, just glad to be out,” Gable said. “I’m thankful to the judge for exonerating me. Just really looking at the case finally and seeing really what happened with the state police and the DA’s office. They did a lot of dirty stuff. It’s just really emotional.”
Storm had been a pen pal of Gable’s while incarcerated and the two married inside the Lansing prison.
The victim’s brothers never believed Gable killed their sibling. They helped Oregon public defenders in challenging the conviction and even set up a GoFundMe “Frank Gable Freedom Fund.”
Gable will be placed on federal supervision because of an unrelated firearms conviction. The Oregon Department of Justice is appealing the ruling releasing Gable, but for now, he’s got a new start on life.