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I-Team: Parole denied for three people convicted for crimes in north Alabama

Two people convicted for crimes in Lauderdale County were denied parole as well as a woman convicted of killing a Shoals prosecutor's grandmother.

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 2:01 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 11:06 PM

On Tuesday, parole was denied for two people convicted for crimes in Lauderdale County and for a woman convicted of killing a Shoals prosecutor's grandmother. 

Carlos Hampton was denied parole for a 1994 murder in Lauderdale County. Michael Reeder was also denied parole for a 2005 manslaughter charge in Lauderdale County. Reeder was driving drunk when he killed Rita McDonald.

Rita McDonald's family after parole was denied for Michael Reeder. Reeder has served 12 years of an 18 year sentence. Rita McDonald's family after parole was denied for Michael Reeder. Reeder has served 12 years of an 18 year sentence.

The board also denied parole for Christolyn Brown, a woman convicted of killing Billy Jean Burton in the 90's. Burton's granddaughter is the assistant district attorney in Lauderdale County.

Angie Hamilton, Burton's granddaughter said she normally comes down to Montgomery to fight for victims before the parole board, but Tuesday she was fighting for her grandmother.

"Every time you have to come back down here to fight, it just brings everything back up," Hamilton said.

Her grandmother's murder is the reason she's now a prosecutor.

"I didn't even know about the criminal justice system until my grandmother was murdered," she said.

This is Hamilton's second time to come and ask the parole board to keep Brown locked up. Hamilton said she was worried they might let Brown walk out because of the parole board's actions in letting violent offenders out.

"I am very concerned at this time, not only the parole board and the things we've seen lately, but also the time that she's served there seems to be an increase in sentencing reform from 2015 to let violent offenders out of prison," Hamilton said.

During the hearing, parole board, Chairperson Lyn head told Hamilton that Brown was even combative with field officers during interviews for this very parole hearing. They denied Brown parole and set her next parole hearing five years from now. Hamilton said she believes that timeline should change.

"You have to redo your whole life. It's not at the convenience of the victim. It's at the convenience of the parole board," she said.

Michael Reeder, a man charged with manslaughter for driving drunk and killing Rita McDonald in Lauderdale County, was also denied parole. Mcdonald's family was emotional when the board denied him parole.

The board also denied parole for Carlos Hampton, a man who shot and killed William Casey in 1994. Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly was at these parole hearings asking the board to deny both Reeder and Hampton parole.

"I think it's important to be here and look the parole board in the eye and let them know what our community wants in terms of not letting these violent offenders back in the area," Connolly said.

Reeder will come up for parole again in four years and Hampton will come up for parole again in five years.

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