Release of child’s killer from R.I. prison delayed

Served 29 years in the slaying of 5-year-old in ’75

Woodmansee was convicted of second-degree murder. Woodmansee was convicted of second-degree murder. (Associated Press)
Associated Press / September 1, 2011

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CRANSTON, R.I. - A Rhode Island man who killed a young boy in 1975 and kept his shellacked bones in his house for years has again been ordered to stay in prison a little while longer because of disciplinary problems, a corrections spokeswoman said yesterday.

Michael Woodmansee is now set to be released from the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston on Sept. 11, said Department of Corrections spokeswoman Tracey Zeckhausen. Woodmansee, 53, had been scheduled to be released from prison today and has agreed to commit himself voluntarily to a state mental health facility.

Woodmansee was convicted of second-degree murder after admitting he killed 5-year-old Jason Foreman in South Kingstown and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. He is eligible for early release after nearly 29 years in prison under Rhode Island’s good-time law, which shaves time off the sentences of well-behaved inmates.

Zeckhausen said Woodmansee’s early release date was pushed back after he refused to participate in a prison count on Aug. 20.

He pleaded guilty to the offense and did not appeal, she said.

In May, officials extended Woodmansee’s prison term and docked him 10 days of early-release time after he flushed a razor down a toilet.

Razors are to be returned to corrections officers.

Woodmansee has agreed to admit himself voluntarily to the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals once he is freed.

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, who proposed eliminating good-time credits for murderers, rapists, and child molesters because of the Woodmansee case, said in a statement that he is prepared to take action if Woodmansee seeks to be released by state mental health officials.

“At this time, I am satisfied with the measures in place for the voluntary commitment process to ensure that Michael Woodmansee remains in a secure facility, keeping our communities safe from this child killer,’’ Kilmartin said.

“It remains the prerogative of this office to seek immediate involuntary commitment should circumstances change, and I will not hesitate to use every available legal avenue to ensure Woodmansee is not released back into our community.’’