Garrison released this week

Robert Smith

A man who pleaded no contest in 2011 in Osage County District Court to a 1997 murder and received 20 years to serve was released this week, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Jeffrey Scott Garrison, 49, began serving his sentence June 16, 2011, for the killing of 18-year-old Amy Lee Schlock Hays, according to a Department of Corrections record. The prosecution of Garrison began in May 2008, when an arrest warrant was issued.

The killing for which Garrison was prosecuted occurred before passage of the 85-percent rule, requiring convicts to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences for specified crimes. Garrison received a sentence of 40 years, with 20 suspended and 20 to serve for the murder.

Matt Elliott, public information officer for the Department of Corrections, confirmed the accuracy of an online record that showed Garrison was being released on probation. Elliott said Garrison will be legally required not to use drugs and alcohol, and will be prohibited from possessing a firearm. He will have to check in regularly with Probation and Parole personnel, Elliott said.

Garrison’s criminal record, according to the Department of Corrections, includes several convictions between the late 1980s and 2010 for crimes other than the killing of Amy Hays.

The Journal-Capital talked with incoming Osage County district attorney Mike Fisher, who previously worked as an assistant district attorney in Osage County, about whether he had any memory of the case. Fisher said he did not, but found it extraordinary that anyone convicted of murder could get out in seven years.

The Journal-Capital also left a phone message for current district attorney Rex Duncan, but did not hear back from him before deadline.