Officer disagrees with parole board recommendation - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officer disagrees with parole board recommendation

Fifteen years ago, a West Memphis family watched on as a jury sentenced a man to life in prison without parole for the murder of one of their own.

Now, a high-ranking police officer there says the state parole board has no business recommending that he be released.

Assistant Police Chief Mike Allen has strong words for the Arkansas Parole Board.

"To me, that's an injustice," he says.

Allen was new to the West Memphis police force in 1989. The murder of Yvonne Parker was one of his first cases.

And the fact that her killer, Charles Bradford, has been recommended for clemency after getting a life sentence, makes him angry.

Police found Bradford brutally stabbed parker to death and then robbed her. "To be able to say without contacting the family, without contacting the police department, having little or no facts other than that he's been a model inmate for the past 15 years is a slap in the face for a Crittenden County Jury."

Action News Five spoke with Yvonne Parker's family three days before Christmas, when they first got the news that Parker's killer might catch a break. "No he do not deserve a second chance. She ain't got no second chance. She got a grand baby now she don't even see," her sister told us.

But they're angry - and Allen is angry - that the Parole Board never heard their side of the story. State corrections officials say they sent a letter to a family member, but the address they used is no longer current.

Allen says Parole Board procedures need fixing. "It says clemency means kindness, mercy, forgiveness and leniency and from what I can remember from that crime scene in 1989, Charles Bradford gave this woman no kindness, mercy, forgiveness and leniency."

We tried reaching the Parole Board spokesperson today but our calls weren't returned.

The Governor has eight months to act on that recommendation.

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