Gov. grants reprieve in child killer's death sentence

BELLINGHAM, Wash.  — Gov. Jay Inslee has granted a reprieve to a man who was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.

The Bellingham Herald reports Inslee formally granted the reprieve to Clark Elmore Thursday.

In 2014, Inslee announced a moratorium on executions in Washington state. Elmore is the first of Washington's death row inmates to exhaust his appeals.

Elmore killed his girlfriend's daughter, Kristy Ohnstad, in a van south of Bellingham in 1995. He raped her, choked her, drove a metal skewer through her skull, beat her and dumped her body in the woods.

When Ohnstad's body was found, Elmore fled before reconsidering and turning himself in.

The governor's office says Inslee's moratorium is not about individual cases and that Ohnstad's family spoke with Inslee and expressed a preference for Elmore to serve life in prison.