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Kentucky school shooter jailed for 25 years seeks parole

Paducah, Ky. – The Kentucky man who killed three students and wounded five more in a school shooting a quarter-century ago said: chance of parole this week.

Michael Carneal was a 14-year-old freshman in 1997 who fired a stolen pistol into a preschool prayer group in the lobby of Heath High School near Paducah, Kentucky. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and given an opportunity for parole after 25 years.

The hearing, which began Monday, is his first opportunity for parole, and may be his last. It has the discretion to order you to spend the rest of your life in prison without hope.

Monday was dedicated to testimony from the wounded and close relatives of those killed in the shooting.Friends.

Gwen Hadley, the mother of Nicole Hadley, who was 14 when she was murdered on December 1, 1997, expressed an often-repeated sentiment Monday, calling Carneal simply a “shooter.”

“We — families, survivors, people at school, and the community at large — were given life sentences by the shooter and never got a second chance at commutation,” she said. “The life sentence that the shooter gave us. I can’t see her.”

Nicole’s sister, Christina Hadley Elgood, who is only a year older than Nicole, was attending school at the time of the shooting and found her sister in the lobby with a bullet hole in her head. Nicole was the first person to be murdered, and she recently turned down Karneel’s date.

“Michael wasn’t a friendless kid because he made people believe.” was so kind that she was friends with him.”

Ellegood concedes that 14-year-olds may not have fully developed brains and fully understand the consequences of their actions, but “Michael said that on the day of the shooting, I think he knew what he was doing…he fired eight shots and hit eight different people.In my eyes, this is a very difficult task.”

17-year-old Jessica James and 15-year-old Keith Steger were also killed that day.

Horan Holm, who was injured that day, lay on the floor of his high school lobby, bleeding from his head, and remembered believing he was going to die. I’m not good at it,’ he said. “I get agitated and look for hazards and exit routes. Sitting with my back to the door at a restaurant makes me uneasy.”

But Holm also remembers his childhood days when Carneal took the bus with him every day and ate lunch with him every day in third grade. Now that he’s 40, he realizes how immature they were when they were 14.

“You have to think that 25 years later, he’s a different person than he was that day, because we’re all different people today than we were 25 years ago.” I can.

Missy Jenkins-Smith, who was paralyzed by one of Carneal’s bullets and uses a wheelchair, said it was too risky to let Carneal out. She is worried about what will happen if he stops taking the medicine.

Jenkins-Smith was in a band with Carneal and considered him a friend. She even visited him in prison once. She says she has forgiven him, but I don’t think it’s fair for him to be released.

“I could talk for hours about what my life was like every minute of every day for the past quarter century without using my feet,” she said. I was sentenced to life imprisonment without sex — after living the consequences of Michael Carneal’s decision — unable to walk. It affects your whole life.”

On Tuesday, Carneal will claim his release from the Kentucky State Reformation House in Ragrange. His two-member panel on the parole board is hearing Karneel’s appeal. They can choose to release him or postpone his next parole opportunity for up to five years. If the two cannot agree on these options, the case can be sent to the full board meeting next Monday. Only the entire board has the power to deny Karnil’s chance for parole, and he is forced to remain in prison for the rest of his life.

The parole hearing, which was held via videoconference, was broadcast on local Paducah TV and YouTube. A public screening was also held at a local community college, where a small group of community members gathered to watch. They included Tommy Fletcher, a teacher who witnessed the aftermath of the shooting and entered the lobby just seconds after the shooting ended.

In an interview after the hearing, Fletcher recalled not only the pain of that day being beside one of the students who died, but also the resilience of his community. Students gathered in a prayer circle in the same lobby where their classmates were shot.

“It was so empowering to see how everyone handled it,” Fletcher said. “It really brought us together.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/national/2022/09/19/kentucky-school-shooter-imprisoned-25-years-seeks-parole/ Kentucky school shooter jailed for 25 years seeks parole

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