- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Five inmates serving life sentences for first-degree murder, who became eligible for parole under a new state law, have lost their initial bids for freedom.

The West Virginia Board of Parole denied parole for all five inmates on Tuesday. They are among seven inmates who were identified as eligible for parole under the law, the Charleston Daily Mail (https://bit.ly/1qnXwJL) reported.

The law prohibits life sentences without parole for people convicted of crimes committed when they were juveniles. The law also applies to consecutive sentences adding up to more than 15 years. People can seek parole after serving 15 years.

The inmates who were denied parole include William E. Wayne, who was among more than a dozen prisoners who escaped from the old state penitentiary in Moundsville in 1979. Wayne is serving a life without mercy sentence for killing a shopkeeper in Wood County in 1975, said Lawrence Messina, spokesman for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

Wayne also is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for the death of a West Virginia State Police trooper during the 1979 prison breakout.

The other inmates include John Moss Jr., Lawrence T. Redman, Cecil “Clay” Holcomb III, and Larry D. Hall.

Moss received three consecutive life without mercy sentences in 1984 for the slayings of a St. Albans woman and her two children. Redman was sentenced in 1984 for killing a shopkeeper in Berkeley County.

Holcomb was sentenced in 1993 for killing his parents in Fayette County. Hall received a life without mercy sentence in 1995 for the fatal beating of a man in Taylor County.

All five inmates will go before the parole board again in 2017.

Parole hearings also are scheduled for two other inmates who are eligible under the new law.

Michael D. Day is scheduled to appear before the parole board in December 2017. He was sentenced in 2002 for killing a homeless veteran in Cabell County.

A parole hearing for Kelly Chapman is set for October 2023. He was sentenced in 2009 for shooting a pregnant woman in the stomach and causing the death of her fetus in Kanawha County. A Kanawha County judge upheld Kelly’s sentence in 2011.

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Information from: Charleston Daily Mail, https://www.charlestondailymail.com


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