EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Parole Board will soon decide whether a man convicted of murder three decades ago can be released from prison.
Robert Jewett pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault for the 1990 death of 17-year-old Kimberly Rock. He cut a deal with the state and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Jewett was serving time at the Rhode Island Training School for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl when he killed Rock, according to prosecutors, and was taking part in a community-placement educational program that allowed him to leave the premises to attend classes.
In between classes, prosecutors believe Jewett broke into Rock’s East Providence home, sexually assaulted her and then strangled her.
“It was a horrific crime,” said Carolyn Medeiros, executive director of the Alliance for Safe Communities. “It was depraved.”
Medeiros believes that the fact that Jewett even has a chance at parole should be a crime in itself.
“He’s someone who used the system to his benefit to commit an even more heinous crime,” she said. “He used tools the state offered him for rehabilitation to plot, plan and carry out the demise of a 17-year-old girl.”
Medeiros said with Jewett eligible for parole, Rock’s loved ones are now facing a life sentence.
“This never goes away,” she said, adding that Rock’s family is forced to “relive” her death during each parole hearing.
Medeiros tells 12 News Jewett has already faced the Rhode Island Parole Board twice, and each time his request was denied.
Jewett is slated to appear before the Rhode Island Parole Board Wednesday morning. Medeiros isn’t sure how the hearing will play out, but hopes that Jewett will remind behind bars.