Family members beg Kentucky parole board to keep convicted murde - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Family members beg Kentucky parole board to keep convicted murderer in prison

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) – The family of woman murdered more than 20 years ago in St. Matthews is begging for her killer to remain in prison.

Donovan Harris was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, Mary Byron, on her 21st birthday in 1993. Now Harris is up for parole. Her family visited with the parole board Monday, asking them to not let Harris out of prison.

“The murder was planned for over a week,” said John Byron, Mary’s father. “He took his hunting rifle and exchanged it for the pistol. That was the murder weapon.”

Harris was sentenced to life in prison, but in 2005 he had his first opportunity for parole. The board back then deferred the possibility of parole for 12 years.

“We pleaded our case," said Pat Byron, Mary's mother. "I believe we've done everything we humanly can."

Byron had broken up with the Harris early on in 1993. Harris then raped her. He was arrested but later released on bail. At the time, Byron had no way of knowing that the man who had raped her was out of jail.

“I want you to remember Mary's last words, because I will never forget them,” said Mary’s aunt Jeanne Byron-Flowers. "’Don't worry Aunt Jeanne, they've got him.’ So for heaven's sake, I beg you, please keep him.”

As a result of Byron’s murder, her parents worked hard to get Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) system implemented. It calls crime victims anytime there's a change in offenders' status

Harris meets with members of the parole board on Tuesday morning.

“We're all scared, because we've gone on with our lives, and he knows where we live, and he has nothing to lose,” Pat Byron said.

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