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New sentencing for murderer Gilley months away

Billy Frank Gilley Jr., convicted in 1984 of bludgeoning his mother, father and younger sister to death with a baseball bat, appeared in Jackson County Circuit Court today to schedule a resentencing for the triple homicides, which took place at the family home on Ross Lane when he was 18.

Gilley, 43, was convicted on Nov. 16, 1984.

Correction: See below.He has maintained he did not have effective legal assistance at the trial where he was originally sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.Correction: Gilley's age at the time of conviction was incorrect in an earlier version of this story. This version has been corrected.

On May 14, the U.S. District Court in Oregon upheld Gilley's conviction on three counts of aggravated murder, but ordered that he have a new sentencing hearing.

Jackson County district attorneys Mark Huddleston and Beth Heckert will argue the case for the state. Attorney Paul Beneke will defend Gilley at the resentencing. Heckert said the resentencing would include "a mini-trial" with expert witnesses called for each side.

"This is going to take several months (to prepare) given the complexities of the issues," Beneke said.

Judge Ron Grensky agreed today, giving both sides three months to review decades-old files and prepare their arguments. Grensky slated the next presentencing hearing for 11 a.m. Aug. 21.

Gilley remains in custody in the Jackson County Jail. He had been serving time in Snake River Correctional Institution in Ontario.

— Sanne Specht