Mother of murder victim says 'I can now sleep at night' after killer denied parole
Last week, Harris, now 47 years old, met via video with two members of the parole board.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man convicted of raping and murdering his ex-girlfriend more than 20 years ago will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The Kentucky State Parole Board has ordered Donovan Harris to serve out his sentence for the 1993 murder of Mary Byron.
Harris will not be able to ask for parole again and is required to complete his life sentence.
"He knew where we lived. He’d been to my house. He’d been to my sister-in-law’s house. So I was afraid for them and for us," said Pat Byron, Mary's mother.
Pat Byron was at home Monday morning when she received the call Harris would never be released.
Last week, 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. "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."
Harris murdered 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.
Byron's death resulted in the implementation of the VINE system, or the Victim Information and Notification Everyday.
Mary's mother is thankful the parole board came to the decision to keep Harris behind bars.
"They did bring justice," Pat Byron said. "They did a good job."
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