Diane Downs is up for parole again

Diane Downs is up for parole again
A jury convicted Diane Downs of pulling her car to the side of a rural road in Springfield, Ore., in May 1983 and shooting her three children. Cheryl, age 7, died; 8-year-old Christie survived. The youngest child, Danny, 3, was paralyzed.

PORTLAND, Ore. - One of Oregon's most notorious killers will go back before the parole board next month.

Diane Downs was sentenced to life in prison in 1984 for shooting her three children, killing one of them.

In December of 2008, she was denied her first request for parole after being incarcerated for 25 years. On Dec. 10, a parole board will consider a second request.

Downs has maintained through the years that she is innocent and has said that she would never say otherwise.

"I did not shoot my children," she told the parole board two years ago. "I will never say that I shot my children. I think they deserve better. My children are out there somewhere, and I love them ... I will always love them."

Downs' daughter, 7-year-old Cheryl Lynn, was fatally shot on a rural road near Springfield in 1983. Three-year-old Danny and 8-year-old Christie Ann were seriously wounded.

Downs has had varying stories about what happened, including that a bushy-haired stranger shot the children. But at her trial in 1984, Christie Ann identified her mother as the shooter. The prosecution alleged Downs shot her children because she believed they were in the way of her relationship with a married man.

Downs was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, plus 55 years.

The case was the subject of both a best-selling book by Ann Rule and a made-for-television movie starring Farrah Fawcett.

Downs is being held in a California prison.