MONROE, Wash. -- Timothy Pauley can't explain why he pulled the trigger in 1980, but he apologized for it Tuesday.
"I realize I've done these people some irreparable harm, and I'm terribly sorry," Pauley told members of the state's Indeterminate Sentence Review Board Tuesday morning.
Pauley is currently serving three life sentences for the 1980 murders of Linda Burford, Loran Dowell and Robert Pierre.
They were killed during a robbery at the Barn Door Tavern in south King County.
Pauley and Scott Smith were convicted for the murders.
Since Pauley was sentenced before state guidelines changed in 1984, his life sentence can be reduced by the board.
Board members need to decide if Pauley behaved well during his incarceration, whether he's a risk to the public and if he is remorseful for his actions.
Last year the board decided Pauley might be eligible for release in 2018.
Tuesday's hearing was Pauley's last opportunity to present his case for release to the board. They are expected to announce a decision in at least two months.
During the hour-long hearing Monday, board members repeatedly asked why Pauley committed the murders.
"I wish I could give you some insight into what was going on in my mind, but this was 35 years ago," said Pauley.
He said he thought they were only going to rob the tavern.
When he found out Smith had killed someone, Pauley said he panicked and shot and killed Dowell, the night manager, and Pierre, a bartender.
Pauley killed Angie Dowell's father Loran that night.
On Tuesday, she sat less than 10 feet from Pauley as he testified before the board at the state prison in Monroe.
It was the first time she had seen Pauley in person.
She said it's "devastating and infuriating" to think about her father's killer being set free.
"35 years is a long time, but it's not long enough," said Dowell.