Ronald Roberts

Joseph Pace is scheduled to be released from prison on Christmas Day, after serving only half of his sentence. (CBS)

Teen killer Joseph Pace is scheduled to be released from prison on Christmas Day, after serving only half of his sentence. (CBS)


Dave SaviniReporting: Dave Savini
CHICAGO (CBS)–A murder victim’s brother is outraged one of the killers is getting out of prison after serving only about half of his sentence. He contacted Dave Savini and our CBS 2 Investigator’s who looked at this case and who else is getting out of Illinois prisons this year.The crime scene is old, 1988, but the wounds are still fresh for the murder victim’s brother Floyd Storey.“Yeah I miss him,” said Storey. “He was just a great kid and it was hard.”Floyd Storey’s 26-year-old brother Ronald Roberts was stabbed 12 times and nearly decapitated by two teenagers robbing the Plitt Movie Theater he managed in Aurora in what was once called the Fox Valley Mall.

One of the teens, Joseph Pace now 40, is scheduled to be released from prison on Christmas Day, after serving only half of a 48-year sentence.

“Why would you want somebody in society, or around any other person, who is that sick to do something like that,” said Storey.

While he is angry about Pace being released, CBS 2 obtained Illinois Department of Corrections data to see who else is being set free. We found 20,216 inmates being released from prison this year.

More than 400 inmates convicted of murder and manslaughter are being released.

“He [Joseph Pace] still has a life ahead of him,” said Storey.

Many released inmates will find new victims. Nearly half, about 10,000, will end up back in prison within three years according to statistics. Studies show the recidivism rate does go down when inmates participate in educational programs, job training and placement services.

Sex offenders have the highest recidivism rate. Nearly 1,300 are being released this year; 60% will likely be arrested again within 3 years.

“How do you let a child sex offender out of jail early or a person who brutally murdered somebody,” said Storey.

Other inmates being released this year include more than 900 convicted for breaking into peoples’ homes; more than 1,500 convicted on weapons offenses; more than 5,500 drug offenders.

Storey’s brother was killed before the 1990′s and Truth In Sentencing laws which forces killers to serve 100% of their sentence. Most other criminals can still earn credits and get out of prison early.

Storey knows there is nothing he can do to keep his brother’s killer behind bars. As he says — the law is the law. However, he wants the tragedy of what happened to his brother to be remembered.

The second killer in this case, Thomas Olds, is scheduled to be released in 2018.

Life Term In Slaying Of Theater Manager

May 23, 1990|By Nancy Ryan.

A Plainfield teenager was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday for the 1988 robbery and murder of an Aurora theater manager.

In issuing the sentence, Du Page County Judge Brian F. Telander assailed the killer for “forever destroying Christmas“ for the victim`s family.

Joseph Pace, now 18, was 16 when he and Thomas Olds, classmates at Plainfield High School, robbed and fatally stabbed Ronald Roberts, 26, of Sugar Grove, on Dec. 23, 1988, at the Cineplex Odeon theater in the Fox Valley Shopping Center.

Pace was fired from his job at the theater about a month before the murder, but Roberts had given the youths free admission into the theater that night as a holiday gesture, according to Assistant State`s Attorneys Michael Burke and Robert Huiner.

Roberts` family gasped and cried when Telander announced the sentence.

“We have to feel like there`s been some justice done,“ Roberts` sister, Rosa Jackson, said after the hearing. “The tragedy will never be over. It`ll never be over for us.“

According to testimony in his April jury trial, Pace had been planning the robbery for a month and had told friends that he and Olds would have to kill whoever was working at the theater that night.

After watching “Rain Man,“ the two walked into Roberts` office and stole $1,700 from the theater`s petty-cash safe. Roberts was found dead with his throat slashed and multiple stab wounds to the head, abdomen and back.

“This case is about greed. This was a vicious, cold, senseless act,“

Telander said. “It was a totally senseless and unprovoked act . . . and it was committed without conscience.“

Pace could have received a minimum sentence of 20 years. His attorney, George Lynch, asked for a 20 to 25-year punishment, arguing that Pace`s former co-defendant, Olds, wielded the knife that killed Roberts. Pace, who also received a concurrent 30-year sentence for armed robbery, is ineligible for the death penalty because of his age at the time of the killing.

Olds pleaded guilty to murder and armed robbery earlier this year and was sentenced to 70 years in prison on Feb. 9.

Lynch argued that it was “just foolish“ to issue a life sentence when Olds, who allegedly did the stabbing, received a 70-year sentence.

But Burke said that, under Illinois law, a person is held responsible for a murder if they aid in the crime. “He put this into action. He`s the moving force behind this,“ Burke said.