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Oregon murderer Acremant dies on death row

Was convicted in Medford killings in 1995

SALEM, Ore. - (Update: More info on Calif. murder)

A California man convicted of murdering a lesbian couple in Medford in 1995 and a California man the same year died Friday morning on death row at the Oregon State Penitentiary, the state Department of Corrections reported.

Robert James Acremant, 50, who died in his single-person cell, was convicted of aggravated murder in 1997 and the prior year of two counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count of first-degree robbery. He also was convicted of killing a man in California

The Mail Tribune reports Acremant lured Roxanne Ellis and Michelle Abdill to a Medford duplex apartment on Dec. 4, 1995, where he bound them with duct tape and shot them in the head.

As with all in-custody deaths, Oregon State Police have been notified and the state medical examiner will determine the cause of death, the agency said. 

Prison officials released no further details about his death, but said, "DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,800 men and women who are incarcerated in the 14 institutions across the state."

Acremant's death sentence was reduced to life in prison in 2011 after he was diagnosed as delusional and unable to aid in his own appeals. That reduced his sentence to life without the possibility of parole for the murder, abduction and robbery of Roxanne Ellis and Michelle Abdill.

Authorities say he remained on death row for the 1995 killing of Scott George in Visalia, California.

Acremant had complained for years that he heard voices and claimed to have a transmitter in his head so others could control him.

In 2011, Gov. John Kitzhaber announced a moratorium on executions in Oregon, canceling a planned execution and ordering a review of the death penalty. Current Gov. Kate Brown has since affirmed her commitment to the moratorium.

There are currently 30 inmates on Oregon's death row. Only one was convicted in Central Oregon, Randy Lee Guzek, now 49, who was convicted and first sentenced to death in 1988 in the murders of Rod and Lois Houser at their Terrebonne home the previous year, when he was 18.

Guzek has been sentenced to death three more times since, after previous death sentences were overturned on procedural grounds. The Oregon Supreme Court upheld the most recent conviction in November 2015.


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