Convicted murderer to be released after only serving fraction of sentence

April 25, 2012 4:11:39 PM PDT
It's a case that sticks out in the minds of a lot of Houstonians -- the cold-blooded murder of a young postal worker in the mid-1980s.

The man who took the life of Debora Sue Schatz was sentenced to 75 years in prison, but he could soon be released after serving just over one-third of that punishment.

It was a case that captivated Houston for years; a murder mystery that garnered countless headlines. Now some say the man behind it all will soon be out on the streets.

In 1985, David Port was sentenced to 75 years in prison. He since has served 27 years, yet he is now up for parole.

"God willing, if I ever catch him out on the streets, I said I will kill him myself. I would," said Barbara Schatz, the victim's mother.

Her daughter, 23-year-old mail carrier Debora Sue Schatz, was in the middle of delivering mail when Port abducted her and shot her in the head. It was a case that captured headlines for years. Just yesterday, the Texas Parole Board called Schatz's mother, asking her about the case as the state consider's Port's release.

"What I think would be fair for him -- for the rest of his life to be in there. He has no business coming out," Barbara Schatz said.

Port has slowly been accruing "good time credits" for good behavior behind bars. Schatz has been fighting Port's release for years, never coming to terms with the fact that one day he would be released automatically because of laws in effect at the time of his conviction.

"This was obviously an archaic, outdated law that fortunately we ended up abolishing through legislative efforts in 1996, but unfortunately we could not keep offenders like Port from also being released as well," said city of Houston Crime Victim's Advocate, Andy Kahan.

He says that mandatory release law was repealed in 1996. But it still applied to cases already sentenced back in the 80s.

Barbara Schatz worries Port could strike again once released. Though Debora can't be brought back, she says another murder at Port's hands is preventable.

Port's former attorney still contends Port should have never been convicted. In fact, Jack Zimmerman told us, "I don't think he is a danger to society... I don't think he ever was."

If you would like to write letters related to the potential release of David Port, you can email Victim.svc@tdcj.state.tx.us with the case reference of TDCJ# 00394228.


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