Francine Stepp, who was convicted of murder, passed her jacket review and will appear before the pardon and parole board late next month where she will be granted or denied parole.
John Daniels, deputy director at the Oklahoma state pardon and parole board, said this is the Stillwater woman’s first time past the jacket review after being denied parole three times.
According to the parole board staff, board members examine the offender’s Department of Corrections file and a report written by a parole staffer during the jacket review.
Stepp, 42, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder alleging she killed her parents in 1988.
According to prison records, Stepp went into her parents’ bedroom early in the morning and shot her father. Records indicate she then stabbed her mother and father with a knife until they died. She was 18 at the time and was sentenced to life in prison. She has served 24 years.
The investigative report prepared by parole staff and assessed during the jacket review indicated Stepp is a well-behaved, productive inmate who poses little risk. The report shows Stepp has had three misconduct reports, the most recent of which was in 1991. Her work evaluations say she has been “outstanding.” According to the report’s risk scale — zero being low risk and more than six being high risk — Stepp scored a zero. According to the report, she has no other record of violent behavior, no documented substance abuse and has completed all recommended programs. She also earned an associate degree in business in 2009.
The investigator recommended parole or sentence commutation to 45 years. The report indicated if paroled, she would live with a friend in Ardmore, Okla., and work as a bookkeeper.
Stepp is held at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud. According to parole board director Terry Jenks, Stepp has been denied parole three times — in 2003, 2006 and 2009. He said statutes mandate violent offenders come up for parole consideration once every three years versus once a year for non-violent offenders.
Stepp was convicted in 1988 before a law was enacted to make violent offenders serve 85 percent of a sentence before being considered for parole. Under the 85 percent rule, offenders sentenced to life with parole must serve 38 years in prison before they’ll be considered for parole, Jenks said.