Breaking at 8:15am — Gordon House Released From Prison Today

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Man convicted in fatal Christmas Eve 1992 DWI crash will serve two years under close supervision.

Gordon House, who was convicted in a Christmas Eve 1992 DWI crash that killed an Albuquerque mother and her three daughters, was released from a prison in Grants around 5:30 this morning after serving nearly 11 years of a 22-year sentence at prisons in Santa Rosa and Grants.

House’s wife and sister picked him up from the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility and drove him to Gallup where he is meeting at this hour with a probation/parole officer to discuss the conditions under which he will spend the next two years on parole, New Mexico Corrections Department spokeswoman Tia Bland told ABQjournal.com.

Bland told us that House will be living at a halfway house in the Gallup area, which she described as more a transitional living facility than a program. But House could leave the facility in as little as six months, depending on how well he does in his adjustment, including attending counseling and AA meetings.

House will meet with his parole officer about four times a week under conditions set by the parole board late last month and will serve two years under the highest level of supervision available, Ella Frank, parole board executive director, told the Albuquerque Journal in late February.

House will be placed in community corrections, a probation and parole program designed for higher-need offenders who typically have a history of substance abuse or other issues that might put them at risk of reoffending, Frank told the Journal.

Corrections Department spokeswoman Tia Bland told the Journal there are several phases of the program, the first phase being a requirement to meet with a parole officer four times a week and home and work visits by a parole officer once House gets a job.

If he successfully completes that part of the program, Bland said, the second phase will involve twice-a-week meetings with a parole officer, followed by a third phase with more flexible contact, the Journal reported.

House also will have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet at least at the beginning of his parole and will have an ignition interlock on his vehicle for two years, Bland told the Journal. He also will be required to perform community service.

Bland told ABQjournal.com this morning that House does not currently have a valid New Mexico driver’s license, but if he were to get one, any car he operated would have to be outfitted with an ignition interlock.

The 1992 Christmas Eve crash, which became a symbol of New Mexico’s drunken-driving problem and a catalyst for efforts to toughen DWI laws, killed Melanie Cravens and her daughters, 5-year-old Kacee, 8-year-old Erin and 9-year-old Kandyce, critically injuring husband and father Paul Cravens.

The family had been driving west on Interstate 40 in Albuquerque when they were struck by House, who was drunk and driving the wrong way.

House was eventually convicted in 1995 of four counts of vehicular homicide and other charges and was sentenced to 22 years in prison, but under then-existing laws, was credited with good time for roughly half his sentence, the Journal has reported.

For the Journal’s coverage of the House case, click here.

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