" /> " /> ">
KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

Victims' Families Divided on Killer's Early Release

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman
More Video...

Two years for two deaths is all Kyle Johnson will serve if a parole board does not overturn a controversial decision.

Johnson killed two local women after driving drunk in 2002.

Now the victim's families are divided on whether Johnson should be released.

"Three families are grieving and I'm going to prison for 12 years," said Kyle Johnson in a 2003 Public Service Announcement.

Kyle Johnson became an example of the dangers of drinking and driving.

12 years in prison and a public service announcement that sent a tough message was part of his plea agreement.

But in January a parole board decided two years was enough.

"I could not believe that having only served 1 1/2 years of his sentence that Kyle Johnson could be approved for parole. Frankly, I wasn't sure it was true just because it was that hard to believe," says Assistant District Attorney Shane Phelps.

Hard to believe because most intoxicated manslaughter offenders serve about 80 percent of their sentence.

Phelps says the decision undermines the point of Johnson's punishment.

"It cut us off at the knees. This has really undermined our efforts in this community to send a real strong message. That if you drink and drive and kill in this community you're gonna go to prison for a long time," says Phelps.

20-year-old Brittany Young and 21-year-old Hollie Winn were Johnson's victims.

Hollie's father, who was not notified of Johnson's possible parole, feels victimized all over again.

"If they did make an attempt to contact us, I don't think they tried very hard," says Sam Winn.

Winn says he has to drive two hours just to see his daughter's grave, and there is no justice in that.

"It just floored me at that time. I could not believe this was happening," says Winn.

Brittany's parents who declined an interview spoke on behalf of Johnson at the parole hearing.

In a statement, the Young's say "His being in prison will not bring Brittany back to us and it does not give us any comfort or satisfaction that he is there. Working towards forgiveness in our hearts enabled us to do this and to continue to cope day to day."

Kyle Johnson is now at the Hamilton Unit in Bryan undergoing rehabilitation for six months. And unless letters of protest from the Winn's and the District Attorney's office can change the parole board's decision, it is here Johnson will become a free man.


KBTX-TV Channel 3 4141 E. 29th Street Bryan, TX 77802 Phone: (979) 846-7777 Fax: (979) 846-1490 News Fax: (979) 846-1888
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 1317007 - kbtx.com/a?a=1317007