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KY School Shooter Seeks Parole For Prayer-Group Killings 25 Years Ago

Michael Carneal of Kentucky was 14 on Dec. 1, 1997 when he opened fire at a before-school prayer group, killing three students and wounding five. The shooting occurred 25 years ago, but he will attend a state parole board hearing on Tuesday in a high-stakes session that could determine whether he is released or denied the chance to ever leave prison, reports the Associated Press. His parole hearing begins Monday with testimony from those injured or families of those killed. Missy Jenkins Smith, who was paralyzed after being shot by one of Carneal's bullets said there are too many "what ifs" to release him. “Continuing his life in prison is the only way his victims can feel comfortable and safe,” she said.

The three people killed were Nicole Hadley, 14, Jessica James, 17, and Kayce Steger, 15. On Monday, Nicole's older sister, Christina Hadley Ellegood, testified about the pain of seeing her sister's body and having to call her mother to tell her the news of the shooting. A two-person panel is hearing Carneal's appeal, having the option to release or defer his next opportunity for parole for up to five more years. The full board can deny Carneal any chance of parole, which means he could stay in prison for the rest of his life.