Donovan Harris asks for parole almost 24 years after murder of Mary Byron
Donovan shot and killed Mary Byron on her 21st birthday in December of 1993 as she got off work at J.C. Penney at Mall St. Matthews.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man convicted of raping and murdering his ex-girlfriend in 1993 will have to wait to find out if he gets out on parole.
Donovan Harris was expected to learn on Monday whether he could be granted release from the Kentucky State Reformatory in La Grange. Harris shot and killed Mary Byron on her 21st birthday in December of 1993 as she got off work at J.C. Penney at Mall St. Matthews.
On the night of the murder, he had posted bond and had been released from jail for raping Byron a month before. She was never notified that he had been released. Her death resulted in the implementation of the VINE system, or the Victim Information and Notification Everyday.
On Tuesday, Harris, now 47 years old, met via video with two members of the parole board. Harris laid out his case and answered questions for about two hours. But the board members could not come to a consensus on whether to grant parole.
"Mary didn't deserve it," Harris said on Tuesday. "She didn't deserve it. I'm sorry. I'm truly sorry."
Harris' plea was an emotional one in which he fully admitted to everything that took place all those years ago. Harris was asked if he realized he had killed Byron. He answered,"Yes, Yes, I actually said to myself when I was running, I said, you killed her, you killed her. I was in shock. I was in disbelief."
Byron's parents, John and Mary, were among family and friends of Mary who met with the parole board on Monday to ask Harris be kept in prison. They presented the board with a 6,000-signature petition started by Mary's former classmates asking Harris be kept in prison.
The case will now go before the full parole board, which has options. Members could grant Harris parole and release him. They could defer their decision for up to 10 years. Or they can decide that Harris should serve out his entire life sentence.
The full parole board will meet on Monday to make its final decision.
Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.