Family Fighting Possible Parole Of Mother's Killer


UPDATED: Thursday September 19, 2013 11:43 PM

A family prepares to make their case to keep their mother's killer behind bars.

Katherine Howard was shot in the back inside a Marion convenience store 24 years ago.

The woman who killed her is up for parole again.

Howard's family is still grieving and plans to fight the release of Brenda Lewis.

"It's been hard growing up without a mom. I was young. Having kids and grandkids now, you know, she's missed out on a lot and we've missed out on a lot," said Howard's daughter, Crystal.

Crystal Howard says hardly a day goes by when she doesn't think about her mother and the woman who killed her.

"We never have any closure because we continually have to go through this," said Howard.

Her mother was murdered at their local Dairy Mart back in 1989, when Brenda Lewis walked in with a gun and shot her in the back.

Lewis was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years to life.

Even though the dairy mart is now under a new name, the family says they still haven't stepped foot in the place and they say they want to make sure their mother's killer never steps foot outside of prison.

Lewis was up for parole three times and denied each time.

Now, she's up for her fourth shot at freedom, which is something the Howards are standing strong against.

"She's just got a history of mental illness. She was in and out of the psychiatric ward here in Marion. She had actually gotten out the day she murdered my mother," said Howard.

"If the parole board paroles her, they aren't too smart because somebody else is going to die," said Katherine Howard's ex-husband, Gordon.

Over the past month, the family has collected thousands of signatures with one goal, which is to go before the parole board and convince them that the woman who killed Katherine Howard should stay behind bars.

"I want her to remain in there for the rest of her life. She took my mother's life. She needs to stay in there for the rest of hers," said Crystal Howard.

The Howard family is expected to take the signatures, as well as their emotional letters and statements, before the parole board Friday afternoon.

The board is expected to review the inmate's case in two weeks.

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