TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man will be released from prison next month, 11 years after his conviction for killing and dismembering his wife and leaving her body parts at a McDonald’s and other sites in Michigan.
The Blade of Toledo reports that the pending release of Thomas Craft has prompted the family of the woman he was convicted of killing to lobby for a law that would require victim approval of conditions of an inmate’s post-release supervision. The family of Lynnette Craft also worked to make sure the 48-year-old Craft spends the next five years under state supervision at a halfway house.
Craft was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2000 as part of a plea deal for voluntary manslaughter, abuse of a corpse and possession of criminal tools
Officials said he killed the 38-year-old Lynnette Craft in June 1999 at their home in Swanton, a community 18 miles west of Toledo near the Michigan state line. Authorities said her severed head was found in a landfill in Washtenaw County, Mich., her torso in a trash bin at an Interstate 94 rest stop and her feet in a bin at a McDonald’s near Ann Arbor, Mich.
Craft maintained that his wife killed herself and that he dismembered her body to hide the suicide from their sons. A coroner’s ruling said cause of death was “undeterminable.”
The family of Lynnette Craft successfully petitioned the prisons department for in-state monitoring of Craft after learning he planned to move to Wisconsin near the couple’s sons following his June 20 release. He is to spend the next five years in a halfway house in Ohio’s Allen County.
“After obtaining additional information and balancing the needs of the victim’s family and the offender’s best opportunity at re-entry, it was determined it would be in the best interest of all involved if the offender remained in Ohio to complete his period of supervision,” prisons spokeswoman said JoEllen Smith told The Blade.
The family also has launched a drive for “Lynnette’s Law,” writing to more than 500 politicians in an effort to increase the rights of victims upon an inmate’s release.
“Victims have no rights and that’s why we set up Lynnette’s Law,” the woman’s brother, Bob Quast, told The Blade. “We’re going to change laws in this country no matter how long it takes so victims have rights and not the bad guys.”
Information from: The Blade, http://www.toledoblade.com/