Dori: Three Strikes offender on the run after twice given clemency by Inslee
A Three-Strikes-You’re-Out offender is likely on the run in the Puget Sound area.
In case you’re not familiar with it, the Washington state Three Strikes You’re Out law holds that felons who have been convicted of two serious violent offenses in the past — such as murder, rape, or child molestation — must go for jail for life with no chance of parole after a third such conviction.
At that point, the only way for the offender to walk free would be with a pardon from the Clemency and Pardons Board, along with the governor.
Tracy Hoggatt, 59, had a long list of offenses — first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, second-degree theft, and on and on.
How is he on the loose today, you might wonder?
In January of 2017, Governor Jay Inslee and the Clemency Board approved Hoggatt’s request. Inslee wrote that Hoggatt had “taken steps to turn his life around and developed a strong sense of empathy.” So after being put in prison for life without parole, he was granted clemency.
Three months later, he went back to jail for violating the terms of his release. He had consumed alcohol, he was living at an unapproved address, and he was hanging out with known criminals. So they picked him up again and put him back in prison for life without the possibility of parole.
Guess what happened then?
This past Tuesday, Inslee let Hoggatt out on clemency for a second time, with the condition that he go to a halfway house in Kelso.
However, he got off the bus in Seattle without going all the way to Kelso. He told the Department of Corrections that he missed the bus, but that his fiancée would drive him to Kelso.
That was Tuesday. This is Friday, and nobody knows where he is. This Three Strikes offender is still on the loose.
“We don’t know where he is, we don’t know what he’s up to, we don’t know what he’s doing,” Q13’s David Rose told me.
After two days of no word from Hoggatt and no response to numerous phone calls, the Department of Corrections assumes he has run away.
This is a guy who, back in 1995, went to Canada for half a year to avoid trial back home in Cowlitz County.
Would somebody explain to me how a guy who is supposed to be locked up for the rest of his life was granted clemency a second time, after violating it the first time?
“In our state, when you are put away for a Third Strike felony, it’s a big deal,” Rose said. “That means you’re gone for good … if they’re willing to just let him out again down the road, 20 years later, then really why are we talking about penalties? We’re putting dangerous people back into the community, and that’s concerning.”
What a damning indictment of the Clemency Board, our governor, and the lack of any respect for the citizens who are victims of repeat offenders.
We do the right thing as voters — we pass Three Strikes You’re Out. But then we have politicians like Jay Inslee and the Clemency Board members who just let them roam free … again.
If you see Hoggatt, call 911 immediately. If you know where he might be hiding, contact Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.
Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.