Conan Hale was sentenced to death by the State of Oregon for a triple murder. According to court documents Conan Hale would murder Kristal Bendele, 15; her boyfriend, Brandon Williams, 15; and a friend, Patrick Finley, 13, in 1995. Conan Hale would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Conan Hale 2021 Information
|Hale, Conan Wayne
|Two Rivers Correctional Institution
|White Or European Origin
|Field Admission Date:
|Earliest Release Date:
Conan Hale More News
Hale was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Kristal Bendele, 15; her boyfriend, Brandon Williams, 15; and a friend, Patrick Finley, 13, in 1995. Two passers-by found the victims. Bendele and Williams were unclothed, their bodies piled beside a gravel road. Nearby, the body of Finley was dressed in his shorts and T-shirt, Bendele’s pants and a rabbit fur coat. Police charged Hale and his friend, Jonathan Wayne Susbauer, with the killings. Hale and Susbauer blamed each other. Susbauer was sentenced to life in prison.
Conan Hale Other News
In late 1995, defendant, then 19, and his friend, Jon Susbauer, then in his early twenties, began committing a series of burglaries and robberies in the Eugene area. As pertinent here, on December 14, 1995, defendant and Susbauer broke into a woman’s home, stole several thousand dollars worth of her property, and slashed a couch and a stereo speaker with a knife before leaving.
At around midnight on December 16, 1995, defendant and Susbauer drove up beside a car parked on an isolated road in a remote wooded area in Eugene. The men were in a silver, Chevrolet Suburban that Susbauer had stolen a few weeks earlier. Two teenagers, Kara Krause and Jesse Jarvis, were in the parked car. The person on the passenger side of the Suburban got out, approached the parked car, and knocked on the window. He told the couple that they were on his property but that they could stay. He then returned to the Suburban and Jarvis heard laughter. The Suburban drove off.
A few minutes later, Jarvis heard a man yelling. Jarvis got out of the parked car to investigate and, he later testified, a man “jumped out of nowhere.” The man was large and stocky. He was dressed in dark clothing and wore a long coat. His head and face were covered with some kind of mask or scarf; only his eyes were visible. He carried something that looked like a machete and was swinging it like a sword. He spoke in a low rough growl and threatened Jarvis with the machete. He ordered Krause out of the car and told them both to take off their clothes and shoes. When they had complied, the man threw the couple’s car keys, clothes, and shoes into the woods. The man forced Jarvis to lie on the ground and Krause to lie across the hood of the car. He threatened Krause with the blade of the machete and sexually assaulted her.
Jarvis later told police that he thought that the person who claimed to be the “property owner” and the rapist were different people. Weeks later, at two police lineups, Jarvis identified Susbauer as the “property owner” and defendant possibly as the rapist. Krause was not able to identify the rapist when shown the same lineups.
On December 19, 1995, defendant and Susbauer broke into another house and again stole thousands of dollars worth of property including, among other things, a rabbit-fur jacket, a .38 caliber Taurus revolver with wooden grips, and 25 rounds of ammunition for the revolver. Before they left, they again slashed the furniture with a knife.
Late in the evening on December 20, defendant and Susbauer were riding around in the stolen Suburban. Susbauer was driving. They saw defendant’s former girlfriend, Kristal Bendele,1 15, her current boyfriend, Brandon Williams, 15, and two other young people, Patrick Finley, 13, and Michael Black, 15. Defendant and Susbauer drove toward them and parked the Suburban. Defendant got out of the Suburban. He was wearing a black trench coat and jeans. Defendant offered the teenagers a ride, which Bendele, Williams and Finley accepted. Black declined. As Black walked away, he saw the Suburban slowly drive off in a different direction.
The next afternoon, December 21, 1995, two men found the nude bodies of Williams and Bendele at a logging landing on McGowan Creek. Bendele had been shot twice, once in the back and once in the left temple. Williams had been shot five times; three shots were to the head and face, one to the chest, and one to the back. Finley, barely alive, also was lying nearby. He, too, had been shot twice, once in the head and once in the shoulder. Among other things, he was wearing the rabbit-fur jacket that defendant and Susbauer had stolen in the earlier burglary. Finley died four days later without ever regaining consciousness.
Police visited Susbauer at his home on December 24, 1995, and seized the .38 caliber Taurus revolver stolen during the December 19 burglary. On December 26, police searched defendant’s bedroom. There, they seized a black trench coat and a machete.
The Taurus revolver later was proved to be the murder weapon; all the bullets recovered at the scene and from the bodies of the victims had been fired from that gun. Testing of the grip of the revolver revealed a mixture of DNA patterns, the most predominant of which matched that of Bendele. Semen obtained from Bendele’s mouth, vagina, and anus was identified as Susbauer’s. Semen on Bendele’s shirt and on the rabbit fur jacket that Finley was wearing was identified as defendant’s.
Defendant and Susbauer both were charged with aggravated murder and various other crimes in the murders of Bendele, Williams, and Finley, in the assault on Jarvis and Krause, and in the December 14 and December 19 burglaries. Susbauer agreed to cooperate and pleaded guilty to, among other things, three counts of aggravated murder. Thereafter, the district attorney decided to seek the death penalty only against defendant.
At the ensuing trial, defendant’s theory was that Susbauer was the rapist and killer and that he, defendant, merely was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Susbauer’s story was the opposite: Defendant was the director of the abuse and murderer of all the victims; Susbauer was a secondary-and, in part, unwilling-accomplice. The jury rejected defendant’s theory and convicted him of 13 counts of aggravated murder and multiple noncapital crimes arising out of the burglaries and the attack on Krause and Jarvis.
Defendant was sentenced on the noncapital crimes at the conclusion of the guilt-phase trial. The trial court then conducted a penalty-phase trial on the aggravated murder convictions. In that proceeding, the jury determined that defendant had acted deliberately in committing the murders, that he posed a continuing risk to society, and that he should receive a death sentence. The trial judge then entered a sentence of death.