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'Reformed' murderer remains in prison pending appeal of release

GRANTS PASS — A judge Tuesday denied a motion to release a man convicted as a teenager in 1998 of murdering Black Bar Lodge owner Bill Hull while an appeal in the case is pending.

Trevor Walraven, then 14, and his brother Josh Cain carjacked and murdered Hull before dumping his body along a logging road and taking his sports utility vehicle on a joyride. Walraven was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the killing.In September, visiting Jackson County Circuit Judge Timothy Gerking ordered that Walraven, now 30, be released from prison after hearing testimony that Walraven had been reformed. The testimony was given during a “second look” hearing, allowed by Oregon law for certain juvenile offenders to determine whether the offender’s sentence should be reduced.Josephine County District Attorney Stephen Campbell requested that the state Department of Justice appeal Gerking’s ruling, arguing that Walraven shouldn’t have been granted a “second look” hearing in the first place because of a state statute pertaining to mandatory minimum sentences for youths convicted of aggravated murder.That appeal has been filed, but it will take some time to make its way through the courts. Tuesday’s hearing, which lasted less than an hour, was on whether Walraven should be released from custody in the meantime. Gerking declined to set him free, and Walraven will remain in prison until the appeal is heard.Hull, 65 at the time of his death, was the patriarch of a prominent local family and the longtime owner of Black Bar Lodge, popular with Rogue River rafters and anglers. Gerking was called in for the case because of conflicts of interest among Josephine County judges. One of them, Thomas Hull, is Bill Hull’s brother.

Cain, Walraven’s brother, who was 18 at the time of Hull’s murder, is serving a 25-year sentence for the killing. He was convicted as an adult and is not eligible for early release.