Convicted Tri-Cities Man Could Be Released After 20 Year Sentence - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Convicted Tri-Cities Man Could Be Released After 20 Year Sentence

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Michael McFarland was sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing his mother in the late 1980's.

After serving 20 years he was set to be released last week, instead he was committed to Western State Hospital for evaluation.

Terry Bloor was Michael McFarland's defense attorney back in 1989.

"He actually decided on his own to plea guilty to the charge of murder," said Bloor.

Bloor says state regulations allowed McFarland to get out 10 years before his time was up.

"The rules of how much time they get have changed over the years, but apparently the department of corrections gave him approximately a third off," said Bloor.

Recent word about his possible release has his ex-wife worried.

"I they released him to Kitsap county, he'll come back here," said Denise Kinnison, his former wife.

Denise says McFarland had history of mental illness and abuse in his family.

"He totally resented his mom, she had given him up for adoption to her sister that couldn't have children and he was abused," said Kinnison.

Denise says over the years, Michael has sent several letters telling her he will come back.

"He doesn't even acknowledge that we're divorced, he's always asking me about the kids, he doesn't acknowledge that I re-married and had two other kids," said Kinnison.

But even if McFarland is released he will have to report to DOC on a daily basis.

"If he doesn't, if he doesn't show up, if he doesn't do anything that he's supposed to be doing as part of that release it will activate the safety system, then we're notified, then she's notified," said Layne Erdman, West Richland Police Chief.

Michael McFarland has a hearing scheduled next Thursday.

On that day a judge will decide whether or not he can be released to the community, or if he'll need to stay at Western State Hospital for up to 90 days for more mental evaluations.