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Symington loves to step forward on issues like this. They make voters forget that anyone who has ever done business with him has come out second best.
One problem in getting Pollard to testify was the fact that she was still terrified of Mageary. She was afraid to face him.
Newton, the chief deputy county attorney, arranged for a screen to be placed between the victim and Mageary, so she would never have to look into his eyes during the hearing, which was to last three hours.
@body:The hearing began promptly at 2 p.m., shortly after Mageary was led into the room through a metal door directly behind the parole panel.
Mageary wore blue denims and white jogging shoes. During his years of weightlifting, he has developed a massive torso and looks more like a circus strongman than a longtime inmate in a maximum-security prison.
There were half a dozen television cameras set up in the rear of the room. For security reasons, prison officials refused to allow the cameras to move to the front of the room, where they might have focused on the faces of the two key witnesses, Mageary and his victim.
Throughout the hearing, the cameras remained focused on the faces of the three members of the pardons and paroles board as they questioned the two witnesses.
It became a sort of minitrial to determine the validity of Mageary's transformation.
Turley spoke first.
Turley is a former state legislator. He is the man who described fellow Mormon and then-governor Evan Mecham as "an ethical pygmy."
"Why do you think you should be paroled at this time?" Turley asked Mageary.
It was clear that Mageary was both tense and well-prepared. As he spoke, he frequently glanced down at written notes before him.
"I'm not God," Mageary began. "I can't change what happened 20 years ago. But I have proven to myself that I have changed within that time. I wish I could tell the victim how sorry I am about what happened."
I noticed that Mageary did not mention the victim's name. Curiously, neither Mageary nor any of the witnesses who testified on his behalf would ever refer to Patricia Pollard during this hearing as anything other than "the victim."
"I have to live with what I have done to the victim for the rest of my life," Mageary said. "Every day when I wake up, I know why I am in prison. It's because of the horrible crime of 1974. I can't change the crime. But I've changed me. I believe in my heart that you did not make a mistake when you voted to release me back in May."
After Mageary made his opening statement, parole-board member Riddell told him that because of newspaper articles about him, the board had received 77 telephone calls from members of the public demanding that he be kept in jail.
"We received only a single call that was in your favor," Riddell added.
Mageary nodded his head, and his face flushed in anger. Turley then quizzed Mageary about one of his previous wives, referred to as Pauline, who had been writing letters to the board for several years opposing his release.
"When did you meet Pauline?" Turley asked.
"I met her in 1982, through an acquaintance in prison," Mageary said. "We were married for four or five years."
"How did you meet your present wife?" Turley asked.
"Her sister-in-law was visiting the prison and she came along," Mageary said. "I was serving Cokes and drinks, and that's how we met."
"You accused your former wife, Pauline, of blackmailing you, is that right?"
"Do you want my honest feelings on that, sir?" Mageary asked Turley.
"I want your honest feelings on everything I ask you."
Mageary took a deep breath and then spoke rapidly:
"My ex-wife Pauline started this whole thing because she's jealous. That's why she wants to keep me in prison. When I divorced her, she vowed to get revenge. She wrote letters five times telling prison officials I was planning to escape. None of that was true."
Mageary picked up a letter and held it in his hand.
"I'd like to read this letter from her son, Dennis, written on November 18th of last year."
The letter read:
"I am in the custody of the Department of Corrections. I have never had a single incident with Mr. Mageary and have always received the utmost respect from him. My mother always spoke highly of Mr. Mageary until the divorce.
"She has developed a growing obsession about him. I have tried to get her to realize that he is in a new and productive phase of his life and that he no longer wants anything to do with her. I notice that when she comes to visit me, she will always go up to Mr. Mageary and try to start a conversation.
"He will have nothing to say to her, and then she makes threats. I believe she has become dangerously obsessed with Mr. Mageary and that if anyone's life is in danger, it is Mr. Mageary's. I believe she will stop at nothing until she wins him back or ruins his life. She has become like that woman in the movie Fatal Attraction."
Board member Leyva questioned Mageary next.
"The last time you were before this board," Leyva said, "you made a strong point out of the fact that the victim has never bothered to come before this board to oppose your release.