- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A Pierce County man who was sentenced to life in prison at age 14 after killing a Steilacoom marina owner will be eligible for parole in February.

A series of legal changes paved the way for the release of Barry Massey, The Tacoma News Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1MqPPeG).

The state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board announced Thursday that the 41-year-old who has served more than 25 years in prison will be eligible for release after completing a series of inmate classes about behavior, problem solving and social skills.

Massey also must submit a release plan that is acceptable to the state Department of Corrections, including where he will live.

In making its decision, the board determined Massey is not likely to commit more crimes if set free.

“We’re grateful for the board’s faith in Barry,” said Maureen Devlin, one of the attorneys who represents Massey. “It is not misplaced.”

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said the opportunity for parole was required by a law that went into effect after a landmark 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving cases where juveniles received automatic life sentences. The court ruled such sentences were unconstitutional because they constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

“I sympathize with the family, who are still struggling with the loss of a loved one, and I hope Mr. Massey uses this second chance to become a productive member of society,” Lindquist said.

Shirley Wang, the widow of victim Paul Wang, wrote a letter to the Pierce County Superior Court last year describing her ongoing pain at the loss of her husband.

The case attracted national attention because of the brutality of the crime and the age of the offenders.


Information from: The News Tribune, https://www.thenewstribune.com

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