Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2007

Kansas Parole Board denies release for killer

July 12, 2007

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— Francis Donald Nemechek, serving five life sentences for a string of killings in the mid-1970s, has been denied parole and must wait 10 years before applying again.

By state law, that is the longest an inmate can go between parole hearings. Nemechek has been serving five consecutive life sentences since his conviction in 1997.

The Kansas Parole Board sent letters Saturday to the relatives of Nemechek's victims, notifying them of its decision.

"Evidently, they acted on it pretty quickly," said Mary Jo Walz, a family member of victim Paula Fabrizius. "I think they heard us."

Fabrizius was 16 when she was abducted from Cedar Bluff Reservoir, where she worked, and killed near Castle Rock in Gove County.

Nemechek also abducted Carla Baker, 20, as she rode her bicycle on a street in Hays in 1975. Her body was found months later at Cedar Bluff Reservoir.

He also kidnapped and killed Cheryl Young, 21, and her 3-year-old son, Guy William Young, both of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Diane Lynn Lovette, 19, of Fort Madison, Iowa. Nemechek came upon them on Interstate 70, when their car developed a flat tire, and abducted all three.

The women were shot, and Guy was left to freeze to death. Their bodies were found at an abandoned farmstead near Hill City, where Nemechek had once worked.

At a public hearing in June, board members were presented a petition with almost 15,000 signatures of people opposing parole.

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