Killer of Opry star waits for parole

July 24, 2008 at 9:45 PM

NASHVILLE, July 24 (UPI) -- A man who killed a Grand Ole Opry star and his wife more than three decades ago is waiting to learn if he will be paroled from a Tennessee prison.

During a hearing Wednesday before two members of the parole board, John Brown said he does not remember the night that he and his cousin broke into Dave "Stringbean" Akeman's house in Ridgetop, Tenn., and shot Akeman and his wife, Estelle, The Nashville Tennessean reported.

Brown was asked what he would say to the victims' family.

"So the only thing I can say is sorry, and that my life has been for the last 34 and a half years is to offer help, and I will continue to do that," Brown said.

Akeman, a banjo player, performed on the TV show "Hee-Haw" as well as at the Grand Ole Opry.

A prison chaplain and others described Brown's good works behind bars. Brown's wife, Debra, said she has turned her own life around so her husband will not return to the life he left when he was imprisoned.

The two members of the parole board at the hearing voted for Brown's release. The other two members are expected to decide soon, the newspaper said.

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