BREAKING NEWS Woman injured in fireworks accident Full Story

I-Team: Governor Ivey tasks former parole board member with observation of current parole board

Victims' families told WAAY 31 they trust Bobby Longshore to do the job right.

Posted: Mar 20, 2019 4:51 PM
Updated: Apr 11, 2019 12:44 PM

Governor Kay Ivey has asked former parole board member, Bobby Longshore, to act on her behalf and observe how the parole board is currently handling things.

Longshore served on the parole board for 11 years, and victims' families told WAAY 31 they are pleased with this move by the governor.

Bobby Longshore

Denny Kimbrel knows the justice system all too well after his son was killed by a drunk driver in Lauderdale County.

"I couldn't think of a better person in that position, because he's well aware of the goings-on of the parole board throughout the years," said Denny Kimbrel. "I am well-pleased with the choice she made."

He went to the parole board four times asking to keep his son's killer in prison. Last year, the man was paroled.

"He served 17 years of a 25-year sentence, which is more than most do for the same offense," said Kimbrel, who is now a member of Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders.

A WAAY 31 investigation uncovered flaws in the parole system after a violent man was let out of prison, and he's now charged with killing three people. We also discovered a lot of violent inmates were coming up for early parole.

The governor put a stop to early paroles in October, but that moratorium has run out and currently Senate Bill 42 is making its way through the legislature. The bill calls for people convicted of Class A felonies, like murder, rape and child molestation, to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

"It got out of hand and we lost a lot of faith in who they were paroling and why and when they were doing it," said Kimbrel.

Kimbrel said his faith in the parole board and state officials is somewhat improving after Governor Ivey sent a letter to Eddie Cook, the main person over the parole board, saying former parole board member, Bobby Longshore, would be acting on her behalf to "seek improvements in this vital area of public safety."

Longshore served on the parole board for 11 years until he left in 2016 because of issues he had with the Justice Reinvestment Act. Prior to the law change, the parole rate was 30 percent. After the law, it jumped up to 54 percent in 2017. Kimbrel said Longshore is balanced and having him back in this unique position at the parole board is a win for victims and their families.

"We have a lot of trust in his judgment. He was always fair to us. Even when the ruling didn't go our way, he was really fair," said Kimbrel.

Longshore said his goal is to go in and observe the current workings of the parole board. On Thursday, he will start individually interviewing parole board members to get their thoughts on things.

WAAY 31 also learned there is an additional bill introduced by a senator that's aiming to fix problems we uncovered in the Jimmy Spencer case. Spencer had some 50 disciplinary reports of violent offenses while he was serving a life sentence, yet he was still paroled in 2018.

On Tuesday, Senate Bill 92 was read on the floor. It would make it a state law to inform the governor's office, local police and sheriffs within 12 hours about any parolee convicted of a Class A felony who leaves a residential facility.

There is already an Alabama law that says the Department of Corrections must tell state and local officials when an inmate escapes prison, but not when a parolee walks away from a residential facility or halfway house after being paroled.

In our investigation, we uncovered that after Spencer was paroled, he walked away from a residential facility he was supposed to be at for six months. No one ever reported it, and Spencer's parole officer maintains that he was not aware Spencer walked away from the facility. The facility told WAAY 31 they did notify the parole officer.

Huntsville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Florence
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 74°
Fayetteville
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4802152
Montgomery3947103
Mobile3904134
Tuscaloosa218842
Marshall168010
Lee130237
Madison12717
Shelby117623
Morgan10475
Walker90524
Franklin87814
Dallas8689
Elmore86414
Baldwin8289
Etowah70713
DeKalb6945
Butler62328
Chambers61227
Tallapoosa58369
Autauga56012
Russell5190
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4736
Limestone4660
Lowndes46321
Houston4614
Cullman4354
Pike4175
Colbert3836
Coffee3702
Bullock3679
St. Clair3472
Barbour3452
Covington3437
Escambia3326
Calhoun3225
Hale30621
Marengo30011
Talladega3007
Wilcox2898
Sumter28412
Clarke2726
Dale2680
Jackson2632
Winston2463
Monroe2312
Chilton2282
Blount2261
Pickens2226
Marion21413
Randolph2019
Conecuh1977
Choctaw19512
Bibb1861
Greene1838
Macon1819
Perry1621
Henry1313
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1050
Washington1047
Cherokee857
Geneva780
Lamar751
Fayette671
Clay622
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 48712

Reported Deaths: 633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby11145197
Davidson10450118
Rutherford285435
Hamilton266533
Sumner155952
Trousdale14945
Williamson122614
Knox10865
Out of TN10657
Wilson89117
Putnam8537
Robertson81511
Sevier7683
Lake6910
Bradley6623
Tipton6335
Bledsoe6181
Unassigned5811
Bedford5455
Montgomery5347
Macon4363
Maury3263
Hardeman3255
Hamblen3144
Fayette3102
Madison2802
Loudon2771
Rhea2760
Dyer2401
McMinn22718
Cheatham2251
Blount2123
Dickson2010
Cumberland1784
Lawrence1526
Washington1420
Lauderdale1393
Monroe1376
Jefferson1250
Gibson1211
Coffee1170
Anderson1162
Obion1132
Smith1111
Sullivan1082
Hardin1047
Greene952
Haywood922
Cocke900
Franklin823
Wayne820
Marshall811
Hickman800
Warren720
Marion714
White703
McNairy680
Weakley631
Lincoln610
DeKalb600
Grundy591
Overton591
Roane590
Hawkins572
Carter561
Giles561
Unicoi550
Henry450
Campbell441
Carroll441
Henderson440
Polk440
Claiborne410
Grainger400
Johnson390
Cannon360
Crockett343
Meigs330
Perry330
Sequatchie330
Chester300
Humphreys271
Jackson260
Morgan251
Stewart230
Decatur220
Fentress220
Scott180
Clay160
Union160
Houston140
Benton131
Moore120
Van Buren80
Lewis60
Pickett60
Hancock30

 

 

Community Events