- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The man sentenced to 198 years in prison for the 1973 killing of country comic David “Stringbean” Akeman and his wife, Estelle, asked on Wednesday to be paroled.

The Tennessean (https://tnne.ws/QypVOY) reports John A. Brown told the Tennessee Board of Parole that he is a changed man after spending 40 years in prison.

“I’m truly sorry,” said Brown, who is now 63. “I can’t undo anything to change my past. I’ve committed the last 40 years to changing my life.”

Brown presented his case to two of seven parole board members from a special needs facility that houses prisoners in Nashville. The board could make a decision in one to two weeks after other board members review the case. He needs four votes in favor of parole to be released.

One board member who watched the video conference has already voted to deny Brown’s release. Another voted to continue the case to October so she could see a psychological evaluation of Brown and his propensity for any future violence.

“I don’t want to see him have another breath of free air,” said Jan Howard, a Grand Ole Opry member and close friend of the Akemans. “It was not a robbery gone bad, a burglary gone bad. It was premeditated.”

Brown and his cousin, Doug Marvin Brown, waited for the Akemans to arrive home at their Ridgetop cabin on a November evening after they returned from the Opry. John Brown shot Stringbean Akeman as he walked into the cabin, and then ran after his wife in the yard before shooting her in the back of the head. Both were sentenced to two life sentences.

Country music entertainer Louis “Grandpa” Jones found the bodies the morning after they were killed.

Doug Brown died in prison in 2003.

The Board of Parole denied John Brown’s last request in 2011, with then-chairman Charles Traughber saying that the couple’s killing was one of the most serious crimes there can be and noting that more than 450 people wrote to the board to oppose his release.


Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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