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Woodmansee protest held Saturday in South Kingstown

March 14, 2011

Photo by Kathleen McKiernan

People gather with signs and shout slogans at passing cars at Dale Carlia Corner in South Kingstown on Saturday to protest the early release of Michael Woodmansee. Woodmansee, convicted of killing 5-year-old Jason Foreman in 1983.

WAKEFIELD - They want protection for their children, safety for their community and most of all justice for Jason. Hundreds of protesters, from across the state from South Kingstown to Scituate converged on Main Street in Wakefield Saturday morning for a peaceful protest, their message was heard and felt far beyond the small community: Do not release Michael Woodmansee.

As the crowd of protesters walked from Old Mountain Field in South Kingstown to the center of Main Street, holding signs that read “When you kill a child, there is no good behavior,” “Protect us General Assembly, Fix Our Laws,” and “Keep him Behind Bars,” cars passing by showed their support, beeping their car horns for the protesters. When the group dispersed to the four corners of the intersection of Main Street and Kingstown Road, they shouted “No early release,” “Not our children,” “Justice for Jason,” and “Not in my neighborhood, not in any neighborhood,” hoping their cries would be heard from the southern community all the way up to Capitol Hill.

The 200 protesters spoke out against the early release of convicted child killer, Michael Woodmansee, who in 1982 was convicted of brutally murdering five-year old Jason Foreman in 1975. Jason Foreman was missing for seven years after he disappeared from his home on Schaeffer Street in Peace Dale, where Woodmansee had taken him into his house, killed and cannibalized him, keeping his skull on his bedroom dresser and the boy’s remains in a metal cabinet in his bedroom for seven years until 1982 when Woodmansee tried to strangle a second boy. Woodmansee was sentenced to prison for 50 years for murder, but because of the state “good behavior” statue he will be released 12 years early this August.

The Saturday protest was organized after Sharon Lillibridge Raymond, South Kingstown resident and Foreman family friend created the Facebook page, “Protest the Early Release of Michael Woodmansee.” Over 21,000 people signed the Facebook event, planning to attend. Although the protest only had about 200 people in attendance, people came from across the state, driving from Warwick, Johnston, and Scituate.

“God bless you!,” John Foreman, father of Jason Foreman said to the supporters around him. The crowd rang loud at Foreman’s words, throwing their full support behind the man who lost his son.

“I really appreciate everyone showing up. It’s more people than I thought. We need to keep the momentum going, because we don’t know what will happen in the coming months. We have to tell the people in charge that people don’t want him out,” Foreman said.

For more information pick up a copy Wednesday of The Narragansett Times.

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