DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Convicted murderer Justin Boulay has been released from an eastern Illinois prison 12 years after he strangled his ex-girlfriend, thanks to an old Illinois law shaving a day off the sentences of even violent felons for every day of good behavior behind bars.
Boulay, 33, left the Danville Correctional Center on Tuesday morning and reportedly plans to live in Hawaii with a woman he married while in prison, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Correctional Center staff kept news reporters off the property as Boulay was driven away in a Chevrolet SUV by someone whose face was covered. The state Department of Corrections said the agency had received threats to kill Boulay.
The mother of Andrea Faye Will, the Batavia woman Boulay strangled with a phone cord in 1998, called his release a slap in the face.
''For myself and my family, it has been a complete and total injustice since the day he was arrested,'' Patricia Rosenberg said. ''It's just such a slap in the face.''
Boulay, who is from St. Charles, served less than half his 24-year sentence.
Truth-in-sentencing laws passed since his conviction require people convicted of violent crimes to serve a minimum of 85 percent of their sentences.
Boulay was 20 when he strangled the 18-year-old Will in his Charleston apartment. Both were Eastern Illinois University students and she had broken up with him a few months earlier.
Rosenberg said she learned in a phone call from the Douglas County State's Attorney's office, which prosecuted the case, about two weeks ago that Boulay was scheduled to be released.
The caller also told Rosenberg that Boulay married a woman from Hawaii in 2007 and planned to move there with her.
Records in Vermilion County, where the prison is located, show that Boulay married Rachel Rivers while he was a prisoner. She is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Hawaii.
The Hawaii Paroling Authority said Boulay is due in that state Monday.
Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro's office said he unsuccessfully tried to block Boulay's arrival.