Texas teen who killed girlfriend's parents to be freed
DALLAS, May 20 (Reuters) - A Texas teenager convicted of capital murder will be released next month after serving five years in custody for killing his girlfriend's mother and stepfather when he was 13 years old, authorities said on Friday.
Dallas County Juvenile District Court Judge Andrea Martin ruled this week that the teen, convicted in juvenile court of killing the adults because they were interfering with his sexual relations with the then 12-year-old girl, will move to a halfway house on his 19th birthday.
He will be at the house for at least six months and then serve out the remainder of his 28-year sentence on parole, according to Bill Edwards, assistant director of Dallas County Juvenile Services.
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Both he and his girlfriend pleaded guilty in 2011 to the August 2010 shooting deaths of Alan and Darlene Nevil of the Dallas suburb of Garland. The girl was sentenced to 20 years and will have a similar transfer hearing to consider whether she will be released closer to her 19th birthday next year.
Neither of the youths has been publicly identified because of their ages at the time the crime.
The case captured national attention because of the brutality of the crime that was methodically carried out with the shooting of each adult as they arrived home from work. The two youths were found by police shortly after the slayings at a nearby apartment celebrating by having sex.
"These decisions are difficult to make," Edwards said. "There is an element in our system that supports rehabilitation of juveniles and another that prefers that punishment be carried out."
The youth's hearing in Dallas County was closed to the public. Edwards said several witnesses from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department recommended the youth be placed on parole because of good behavior during his incarceration.
Nevil family members were outraged by the judge's ruling. "Why would you let someone out after you murder two people, only serving five years?," Susan Nevil, Alan Nevil's daughter told local broadcaster WFAA-TV. (Reporting by Marice Richter; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Andrew Hay)