SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A man serving a 30-year sentence in a Michigan federal prison for murdering a Southwest Harbor teen-ager waived his right to a parole review hearing this week.
Clifford L. Strout, also of Southwest Harbor, has served 12 years for the murder of 18-year-old Mark Reed on Thanksgiving Day in 1982. Two years ago he lost his first bid for parole, and he is eligible for a parole review hearing every two years.
According to Janice Reed of Southwest Harbor, the mother of the victim, Strout cancelled his appearance before the parole board the day before it was to be held on Jan. 4. Reed said she hopes Strout will not be allowed to apply for another hearing for at least a year, having waived his rights to hearings twice within six months.
Strout was 33 years old when he confessed to shooting the unarmed Mark Reed at point-blank range. After the shooting, police recovered dynamite, detonators and a .32-caliber handgun from his van along with the 12-gauge shotgun used to kill Reed at the Seawall picnic area in Acadia National Park.
Janice Reed was in transit to Ann Arbor, Mich., this week to plead against Strout’s early release when she learned that Strout had waived his right to the hearing. It was the second time that Strout has at the eleventh hour given up his right to an appearance before the parole board, she said. Last August, Strout waived his right to a hearing and then reapplied for the January hearing one week later.
Even though the parole review hearing was canceled, Reed was invited to continue her trip to Ann Arbor to speak with the parole hearing examiner. After returning from her trip early Friday morning, Reed said she had told the parole examiner that 12 years was “not enough for taking the life” of her son.
She said more than 50 letters had been forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Prisons since she and her family had informed the community that Strout could be paroled this year. The parole examiner, she said, had read those letters and had also seen a letter to the editor Strout had forwarded to the Bar Harbor Times last month.
In his letter, Strout said he acted in self-defense on the night he killed the teen-ager with the shotgun. He accused the victim’s father, David Reed, of offering a “twisted version” of the event in a letter to the editor about the upcoming parole hearing.
Strout’s letter, Janice Reed told the parole examiner, shows Strout has no feeling of remorse about the murder he committed.
She said her family hopes to learn soon whether Strout can reapply for another parole hearing this year. But if another hearing is scheduled, they will prepare once again with another round of letters protesting his early release and make another trip to Michigan to speak before the board.
If Strout is eventually released early, Reed said her family will argue that he not be allowed to return to Maine. “I don’t want to walk on the streets of Southwest Harbor and meet him … or have my parents or children meet up with him on the street.”