Crime After 31 Years In Prison, A Convicted Murderer Was Granted Parole, But A Newspaper Posting Is Keeping Him Behind Bars
After 25 years in prison, a school shooter who killed 3 students in Kentucky will appear before a full parole board after a smaller panel couldn't reach a decision last week
A man serving a life sentence for killing three students in a Kentucky school shooting when he was 14 years old will face a full parole board Monday after a two-person panel couldn't reach a unanimous decision on his release last week. Michael Carneal has served nearly 25 years in prison for opening fire at Heath High School in Paducah on December 1, 1997, killing the three students and wounding five others just after the students’ prayer circle in the lobby said “Amen.” Carneal pleaded guilty to three counts of murder, five counts of attempted murder, and a count of first-degree burglary.
The law is a tedious thing. There’s no shortage of bizarre, outdated local laws throughout the United States. Did you know it’s illegal to run out of gas while driving in Youngstown, Ohio? Trust us, there are more odd laws where that came from. In Mississippi, an obscure state law is keeping a prisoner behind bars indefinitely.
Frederick Bell Has Spent 31 Years Behind Bars
On May 6, 1991, 19-year-old Frederick Bell entered a convenience store in Grenada County, Mississippi armed with a .22-caliber pistol. He and his acquaintance, Anthony Doss, planned to rob the establishment. It’s unclear when or why things when south, but Bell shot the cashier, 21-year-old Bert Bell (of no relation to the perpetrator) nine times. He fled with a .38 caliber pistol, a box of bullets, and a bag of cash.
Robert F. Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan challenges decision after parole denial
Gov. Gavin Newsom denied his parole in January.The assassin who murdered Robert F. Kennedy during his 1968 presidential campaign is challenging California’s decision to deny him parole.
Bell left the scene with three other men. They made their getaway to Memphis, Tennessee, where Bell decided to rob yet another store. He shot another cashier, 20-year-old Tommy White, in the process. The four men were eventually arrested at a Memphis residence. After two years of due process, the courts found Bell guilty of capital murder—meaning he would be put to death.
For 20 years, Bell’s legal team repeatedly appealed his death sentence, sending the prisoner for countless evaluations. In 2013, the state changed Bell’s sentence to life in prison, declaring that his mental state left him ineligible for capital punishment. Only two years later, Bell was deemed eligible for parole. Finally, this August, the parole board authorized his release from prison.
Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan asks judge to free him
The man convicted of assassinating presidential candidate and former Sen. Robert Kennedy in 1968 is asking a judge to free him from prison, arguing that he no longer poses a danger to society. Sirhan Sirhan, 78, is serving life in prison in California for Kennedy's murder, in which he shot the New York senator after he won California’s Democratic presidential primary, jurors found. Five others were wounded during the shooting in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel. Sirhan's attorney, Angela Berry, stated in his request for release on Wednesday that her client is not a danger to the public anymore.
“In our opinion, Bell has been rehabilitated, and at this point, we feel that parole supervision will be more beneficial than further incarceration,” Chairman Jeffery Belk wrote in a statement released on August 25. It’s clear that this decision wasn’t made lightly, so there’s been some confusion as to why Bell is still sitting behind bars. As it turns out, Bell’s release has been delayed indefinitely due to a longstanding Mississippi law.
Frederick Bell’s Release Delayed By Red Tape
In Mississippi, before an inmate convicted of a capital crime can be released on parole, a newspaper local to the area where the crime was committed must run a notice of parole for two consecutive weeks prior to the inmate’s release. From our research, it looks like Mississippi is the only state with a formal law of this nature. While it’s not widely known, the law is still strictly adhered to in the state.
From inside the US's most secure prison, 'El Chapo' is pointing fingers at what he says are the real powers in the drug trade
Through his attorney, "El Chapo" Guzmán said that for the drug war to stop, authorities have to go after "politicians on both sides of the border."The WNBA superstar's trial came to a close Thursday, with the judge handing down a guilty verdict along with her heavy sentence. Griner has been detained in Russian jail since February, when she was arrested at Sheremetyevo Airport after customs agents discovered vape cartridges that contained hashish oil in her luggage.
The practice stands so that the community has a chance to provide their input on the parole board’s decision. As it says in the official, the board takes “community opposition” into consideration when deeming an inmate eligible for release.
“Any inmate convicted of a capital offense shall not be (initially) considered for parole until notice concerning his/her possible parole is published at least once a week for two (2) weeks in a newspaper published and having general circulation in the county where the crime was committed,” the law states.
However, this process has been at a standstill for Bell. Despite being approved for release in late August, the local Grenada County paper, the Grenada Star, still hasn’t run his parole notice. The paper’s publisher,that he has yet to receive any word from the parole board. Until the board gives his paper the go-ahead, there isn’t anything he can do.
Frederick Bell’s Future Is Uncertain
Sen. Angela Hill told a local radio show that she was made aware of the hold-up. “Over the weekend, we confirmed that the notice was not run in the local paper where the murder occurred, as required,” Hill noted. “We contacted the Attorney General’s Office, and the Attorney General’s Office indicated to us that she had contacted the parole board and that he would not be released unless or until the proper notification to the community was run in the local paper.”
Sex-trafficking victims work to change how they're viewed, and how to defend themselves in court
Police in Stockton, California, released surveillance video of a person they say they want to speak to about five killings in the city and one in nearby Oakland. Investigators released the video hoping someone will be able to identify the person of interest. Police say the person was seen on surveillance video obtained during the investigation that matches the description given to them by a surviving victim from a shooting last year. Inside Edition Digital’s Mara Montalbano has more.
It’s unclear why the parole board hasn’t moved forward with the newspaper notice, but the longer it waits, the longer it will be before Bell’s release. “If we receive something by our deadline of 5 p.m. on Thursday, it would run the next immediate Wednesday, as we are a weekly publication. It would run for two consecutive weeks, 30 days prior to his release,” Prestridge told Vice.
Yet, even if the board does eventually send notice, there’s still the obstacle of community judgement. There’s been significant community opposition to Bell’s release. The victims’ families and state workers alike have been outspoken against the parole board’s decision. As the case stands right now, this publishing delay has been the only thing holding back the floodgates. Once the parole board opens the channel of community input, it will likely be pressured to reconsider its initial decision.
More From Suggest
New on Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon, and HBO in October .
New on Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon, and HBO in October