Girl's killer says he sensed he was out of control

CLEVELAND (AP) - Even before he raped, killed and dismembered a 14-year-old girl who disappeared from a county fair, Joel Yockey sensed he was losing his self control.

In a phone interview for a story published Saturday in The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Yockey said he couldn't stop himself from killing Kristen Jackson on Sept. 9.

"I felt I was going downhill, and I just couldn't stop," Yockey said from the Warren Correctional Institution.

Yockey (pictured, above) admitted that he alone was responsible for killing the girl. But he also placed blame with the state, which he said failed to give him treatment that sex offenders need to control their urges.

"I went nine years without any kind of treatment," Yockey told the newspaper. "If I had been able to maintain therapy in and out of prison, I know that we wouldn't be talking right now."

Yockey, 46, of Wooster, avoided a possible death sentence by pleading guilty in December to aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping. He was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.

His case has prompted prisoner advocates to demand more programs for sex offenders to protect potential victims.

"This isn't magic; these programs have been shown to work," said Scott Matson, a research associate at the Justice Department's Center for Sex Offender Management. "They are proven."

Budget constraints have restricted the programs in Ohio, where one in four sex offenders returns to prison, The Plain Dealer said.

Yockey went to prison the first time in 1987 after raping a 17-year-old girl.

He was sent to Chillicothe Correctional Institution, where he took part in an 18-month program that teaches sex offenders how to deal with the factors that cause them to commit crimes. Yockey said it helped him understand what he had been going through for years.

"That's when I was at my healthiest," he said. "If I was released then, I would have been fine."

He got another year of group and individual counseling but nothing more in the rest of his 12-year stay.

"I just got angrier and angrier in prison," Yockey said. "If I had more programming, I would have been able to keep from going down as far as I did."

James Eisenberg, a forensic psychologist who has worked with hundreds of sex offenders, interviewed Yockey for a report to the three-judge panel that sentenced him in December.

Ideally, he said, sex offenders such as Yockey would get treatment throughout their prison terms.

"With what's in Yockey's record, certainly one would think treatment is a process, not an event," Eisenberg said. "It is like Alcoholics Anonymous."

Yockey kidnapped Kristen after she left the Wayne County Fair.

He said voices told him to rape, kill and dismember the girl.

"It was a horrible crime, and I feel very badly," he said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)