LACEY, Wash. — Timothy Pauley, who confessed to killing three people in 1980, will get another chance at an early release from prison.

“It’s heartbreaking. It opens up all the old wounds,” said Angie Dowell. Her father, Loran Dowell, was one of three people Pauley killed during the robbery of the Red Barn Tavern in South King County.

Pauley confessed to killing Dowell, Linda Burford, and Robert Pierre.

Pauley was sentenced to three life sentences, but after laws were changed in 1984, he was made eligible for parole.

In 2015, he applied to be released in 2018.

Several of his victims’ relatives testified before the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board that Pauley should not be released early.

The board agreed.

In addition to denying Pauley’s request, the board added time to his sentence. Under the decision, he would not have been eligible for parole until 2031.

But an appeals court ruled the board did not consider Pauley’s rehabilitation before making the decision about his sentence.

As a result, the process starts again.

On Monday afternoon, family members, at times in tears, spoke for more than an hour to the board about concerns for their safety if Pauley is released early.

“The fear has come back again,” said Sidney Oie, who owned the Barn Door Tavern.

“In 1980, the prosecuting attorney reassured me over and over again he was going to stay in prison for life,” said Maggie Dowell, wife of Loran Dowell. “He doesn’t deserve to get out, ever!”

Pauley will have a chance to speak with board members during a prison hearing in July.

When asked if the emotional testimony would be considered in the board’s decision, chair Kecia Rongen replied, “How could it not?”