Stringbean killer to appeal parole denial

Aug. 4, 2011 at 11:26 AM
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NASHVILLE, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The wife of the man who killed entertainer Dave "Stringbean" Akeman and his spouse, Estelle, in Tennessee says he plans to appeal a decision denying him parole.

John Brown's application for parole was recently turned down for a fourth time and he can't petition for it again until April 2014.

However, his wife Debra told The (Nashville) Tennessean he is truly sorry for his crime and has tried to improve himself while in prison so he could be a contributing member of the community when he is released. She said this week he plans to appeal to special hearings officers the decision to deny his release.

Brown, 60, was convicted with a second man of robbing and shooting the Akemans in their home in 1973 while he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Brown was sentenced to 198 years in prison.

His cousin and accomplice Marvin Browan died behind bars of natural causes in 2003 at age 53.

Although more than 450 people wrote to the board this year to oppose Brown's release, Steve Williams, a pastor and volunteer at Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs facility, where Brown is a prison trustee, spoke on Brown's behalf, insisting he is no longer a danger to society, the Tennessean said.

"I truly believe that if he is released, the legal system will never hear from him again," Williams said. "He can do positive things. If he remains here, there really is no positive."

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