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Kaine requests Soering transfer to German prison

In one of his last official acts as governor, Tim Kaine today requested the U.S. Justice Department approve a transfer of convicted killer Jens Soering to Germany, where he would be eligible for parole in two years.

Soering is the former U.Va. honor student who plotted with his girlfriend to kill her parents at their home in Bedford County.  Convicted of the brutal 1985 murders, he is serving two life terms at Buckingham Correctional Center. The girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, is serving a 90-year sentence for instigating the crime.

Soering contends he is innocent of the actual murders, saying he initially confessed in order to spare Haysom from the death penalty.

Kaine denied a clemency request for Soering in July. The Virginia Department of Corrections previously has blocked a request for his transfer.

“This is not a pardon or clemency. It is simply a transfer,” said Kaine spokesman Gordon Hickey. “If DOJ approves the transfer authorized by the Governor, Soering will serve his sentence in Germany, his home country. The transfer was authorized in compliance with an international treaty.”

By Peter Vieth

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