Should a convicted killer be allowed to collect pension? Whether you answer yes or no to the posed question, it’s the reality for the daughter of former Illinois firefighter Eugene Ornstead, a man convicted in 1994 for beating his wife to death.


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Ornstead's daughter, Kristyn McClearn, serves as his executor and has been collecting the $855,000 pension since her father's conviction.

“What he did [he is] serving time for…Is it right that he gets his pension? Yes,” McClearn said.


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The victim's son, Richard Trevino, feels otherwise.

“For someone else, from what I understand, to be collecting that money and using it to live a better life than most people do, I feel that’s just wrong. In a way [...] the passing of my mother was like a lottery ticket to some people.”


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Under Illinois law, Ornstead’s annuity and benefit fund providers have no choice but to continue to pay. 

Ornstead will not be eligible for parole until he is 100 years old.