Dothan murderer’s release still possible after parole denial

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A small victory today for a family fighting for justice in their sister’s death.

A judge denied parole for her killer.

“It was a victory for us, very emotional,” said Charles Jones, the brother of Pamela Stewart. “But we still have a hurdle to go through for the medical furlough.”

Billy Ray Marchman killed his wife Pamela Jones-Stewart, of only three months, nearly two decades ago in Dothan, Al. Just a month ago, Stewart’s family discovered Marchman’s request to the Alabama parole board would allow him to go home and die, under Alabama’s compassionate release law.

The family has been sending letters to the parole board commissioner and the state, hoping to change the law and stop medical furlough requests for convicted killers.

“Never in my worst nightmare did I ever imagine that would be the last time I ever saw her,” said Kristen Murkerson, Stewart’s daughter.

Emotional testimonies, from Murkerson reliving a horrible night after being dropped off at the movies by her mother and never seeing her again.

Dothan police found Stewart shot to death in the couple’s home. Just moments after Marchman called the police, confessing to the crime, telling them he had just shot his wife.

“It’s hard for a few years. you never get over it. the celebrations that you have will get easier, but you never forget,” Jones said.

The healing process has been quite difficult for this family, but they are determined to keep fighting.

Especially after Marchman requested a “medical furlough” because he’s terminally ill. Asking the board of parole to release him early.

On Wednesday, he may have been denied parole.

“Our next question is going to be for Commissioner Jeff Dunn,” said Dustin Stewart, Stewart’s son.

But the medical furlough is still on the table.

“Commissioner Dunn has already approved the medical furlough,” Jones said. “We are now working to get him to rescind that.”

A letter sent to Stewart’s family assured them that all precautions will be taken to keep them safe from Marchman.

“This is an opportunity for the legislature to take the law that is currently passed and have the opportunity to fix something that is broke,” said Patrick B. Jones, Houston County District Attorney.

Marchman began serving his life sentence in prison, in 2005. So far, he has served about 15 years of that life sentence.

No date has been set for his medical furlough.

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