Galveston Co. man released from prison for 1984 killing due to old mandatory release law

Clyde Hedrick served 8 years of a 20 year sentence. Texas EquuSearch's Tim Miller and other victim advocates are outraged

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Galveston Co. man convicted in 1984 killing released from prison
The old state law was revised in 1987, but inmates like Clyde Hedrick are still eligible for release because the crimes they're convicted of committing happened before then.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The man convicted in connection with the death of a woman nearly 40 years ago has been released from a Texas prison.

Clyde Hedrick, 67, served eight years of a 20-year sentence for the death of Ellen Rae Simpson Beason, whose body was found in July 1984 beneath garbage on a dirt road in Galveston County.

"Clyde Hedrick is considered a threat to public safety and we are asking everyone to be on the lookout if anyone sees him out of the halfway house," said Tim Miller, founder and director of Texas EquuSearch, a search and rescue organization dedicated to searching for missing persons.

Hedrick is now living in a halfway house in Houston, according to Miller, but it wasn't clear for how long he was ordered to remain there.

He was released thanks to a long-ago revised Texas law that allowed offenders to be released early when time served for good behavior and other factors were factored against the time they were sentenced to serve. The law was revised in 1987 to exclude most violent offenders, according to Crime Stoppers of Houston victim advocate Andy Kahn. Since Hedrick's conviction stemmed from the 1984 killing, he was eligible and was granted release.

"As long as you maintained good behavior in prison, you were going to be released," Kahn said. "In Houston, we've had numerous high profile defendants who've been released under the mandatory release law."

Miller's daughter, Laura, was kidnapped and murdered in 1984. her body was found 17 months later. Miller believes Hedrick is responsible for her abduction and killing, and filed a wrongful death suit against him in 2014. The case is still pending in Galveston County district court.

Hedrick has not been charged with any crime related to Laura Miller.

He was convicted in 2014 for involuntary manslaughter in connection with Beason's death.

According to court records released by Miller, Hedrick has a lengthy history of violent crimes and had said in the past has murdered four to five women during the course of his life.


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