- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

ANGOLA, La. (AP) - Gov. John Bel Edwards has ordered free from prison the inmate editor of the award-winning magazine produced at the State Penitentiary at Angola.

Kerry Myers received a mandatory life sentence after his murder conviction in 1990 for fatally beating his wife in their home in Harvey, near New Orleans. However, the Louisiana Board of Pardons has twice recommended that his punishment be commuted.

The governor endorsed the board’s recommendation on Tuesday.

“The decision was based on (Myers‘) conduct, a substantial portion of his sentence being served and the fact that the victim’s family testified in support of Mr. Myers at the board hearing,” Edwards spokeswoman Shauna Sanford said in a statement.

Janet Myers, 26, was beaten to death Feb. 24, 1984, with a neighbor’s aluminum baseball bat, investigators said. Myers and the neighbor, William Fontanille, blamed each other.

They also testified that they’d been fighting each other on and off, with knives and other items, for 10 hours. At times, Fontanille testified, they’d stop fighting and watch television, sometimes clasping hands so they wouldn’t stab each other. The Myers’ son Ryan, then 2, suffered a fractured skull but recovered.

The bizarre circumstances prompted a book and a made-for-TV movie.

Fontanille was tried on a charge of second-degree murder, with Myers as key witness, but the jury deadlocked. Prosecutors later charged both men. Myers chose to be tried by a judge who convicted him of second-degree murder. Fontanille was convicted of manslaughter in a simultaneous jury trial, and served a 21-year sentence.

Myers will be on parole until 2020. He is 60 years old.

While incarcerated, Myers was editor of the inmate-produced magazine, The Angolite. His work earned him a “Prevention for a Safer Society” award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

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