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Appeals court says state improperly rescinded convicted murderer's parole, orders his release

6 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Monday, October 23 2023 Oct 23, 2023 October 23, 2023 11:00 PM October 23, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

NEW ORLEANS- The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ordered a convicted murderer to be released after saying his parole was improperly rescinded in 2017.

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Samuel Galbraith is a convicted rapist and murderer who detectives and a district attorney believe is the prime suspect in other murders.

In November 2016, the Parole Board approved his release, but after the WBRZ Investigative Unit exposed what was about to happen, Governor Edwards blocked the decision amid public outcry. The parole was rescinded because notification to the victim's family was not made properly.

Galbraith, a soldier at Fort Polk, killed Karen Hill in 1988. He was on the run for almost 10 years after her murder, until he was caught. The brutal nature of the crime brings seasoned detectives to tears.

Jesse McWilliams had no justice for almost a decade as her daughter's killer roamed free. Until Samuel Galbraith bragged to the wrong person who went to authorities. At the time Hill was murdered, retired District Attorney Asa Skinner was a young prosecutor.

"He told his friend that he had dreamed and had visions of going to a convenience store, getting a woman, kidnapping them, raping them and killing them to see what it felt like," Skinner said.

Before a trial was held, Galbraith pleaded guilty to raping Hill after DNA evidence linked him to the crime. He also pleaded guilty to her murder. Galbraith was sentenced to 71 years and told he needed to serve 85 percent of it.

With less than 1/3 of that sentence served, he could be a free man again.

The Director of Probation and Parole said they are exploring all legal options right now. In 2017, Galbraith was scheduled to be released to Texas. Any housing plan now would need approval from their department of corrections.

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