UPDATED 11/16/10 3:50 p.m.
DANVILLE, Ill. (CBS) – It’s a done deal – convicted murderer Justin Boulay is a free man, nearly 13 years after strangling his girlfriend at Eastern Illinois University.
Boulay left the Danville Correctional Center Tuesday morning, around 8 a.m.
Boulay got into the passenger seat of his father’s dark pickup truck, which was driven by his wife, CBS 2 has learned. She was concealed by a hood and scarf.
Boulay is set to arrive in Oahu, Hawaii later today to start a life with the woman he married while in prison. His wife is a University of Hawaii faculty member.
But Boulay will be banned from campus.
“My concern was the students, the University of Hawaii, and also the general public regarding their safety,” said Honolulu prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro.
Authorities in Hawaii are concerned because Boulay’s young victim, his 18-year-old girlfriend Andrea Faye Will, was a college student at the time of her murder.
Will’s friend Sally Zikas said she was sickened by the reality that Boulay was a free man.
“It’s a sickening feeling.” she told Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser. “I honestly feel physically ill knowing he’s out there.”
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser Reports
Meanwhile, more of Will’s friends from Eastern Illinois University remember her murder like it was yesterday.
The clips bring Michelle Voigt Felde to tears. She was Will’s freshman year roommate.
Ask her or Laura Glombowski about the day Will died and you can hear how hard it is for them.
“We were screaming and crying,” friend Laura Glombowski said.
Boulay, now 33, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for the crime, but he served only half that.
Andrea’s friends are furious.
“It’s not fair. He gets to experience marriage and a life and a beautiful place and have a clean slate, and she doesn’t have anything — she’s six feet in the ground,” Felde said.
The story is slowly filtering out in Oahu, where some residents are unsure what to think.
“I would just need to know more about the case, and what happened and what he’s like now, because in 12 years, a lot could have changed in his life,” said Oahu resident Karen Edwards.
WBBM Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports that while inmates do get married, there are strict rules: There are no conjugal visits and one inmate cannot marry another prisoner, for example.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports
But married or not, why Boulay is getting out so early? It’s because he was sentenced under old state laws that allowed inmates to get one day off for each day of good behavior.
CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller says Illinois law before 1998 is to blame for the fact that Boulay is being released.
“The law was for every day you do in the penitentiary you get one off,” Miller said. “You get a sentence of 24, you do 12.”
Andrea Faye Will’s friends will hold vigils on her behalf Tuesday, in Illinois as well as in Hawaii.