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Man convicted of 1980 SeaTac murders pleads to be released from prison

A convicted killer serving a life sentence for a 1980 triple murder in south King County is trying to get out of prison.

MONROE, Washington — Maggie Dowell survived a violent robbery nearly 40 years ago in south King County. On Wednesday, she had to relive the crime in a prison meeting room as Timothy Pauley pleaded for his release.

“He doesn’t deserve to be out,” said Dowell.

Pauley is currently serving 33 years to life in prison for the 1980 murders of Linda Buford, Robert Pierre, and Maggie Dowell’s husband Loren Dowell at the Red Barn Tavern in SeaTac. 

Pauley confessed to killing Dowell and Pierre.

After sentencing laws changed in 1984, those kinds of indeterminate sentences became eligible up for review.

“He blew their heads off,” said Dowell, who was forced to strip in front of Pauley during the robbery.

Dowell said her arms were tied behind her back by Pauley’s accomplice, Scott Smith.

Pauley said he was following Smith’s lead the night of the robbery. He told members of the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board Smith told him to “take care” of the two men.

Pauley said he shot them.

“I regretted that the moment I did it, but there’s nothing I could do to take it back,” said Pauley.

A prison counselor said Pauley has been a good inmate. He is taking college courses and counseling for substance abuse and violence prevention techniques.

Pauley said after decades in prison, he has learned how his actions impacted the families of the victims.

“Every time I look back at my life and think of all the family moments I’ve had with my parents and family, the first thing that comes to my mind is, I took that from them,” said Pauley.

He told board members he would do anything to make amends with the families of the victims.

Following the hearing, Dowell had one suggestion.

“Stop putting us through this hell,” said Dowell, “Just stop.”

The board has 30 days to rule whether Pauley can apply for parole.

This is Pauley’s second attempt at getting released. 

In 2016, his request was denied by the board, but he was allowed another chance after an appeals judge threw out that decision, ruling the board had put too much emphasis on the 1980 crime, rather than Pauley’s rehabilitation.