Breaking News
More () »

A life sentence for justice: Judith Ann Neelley denied parole, eligible again in 2028

Judith Ann Neelley was convicted for the murder of Lisa Ann Millican in 1982 and sentenced to death - until it was commuted in 1999, opening her to possible parole.

Keneisha Deas

Play Video

Close Video

Published: 8:57 PM CDT May 18, 2023
Updated: 12:12 PM CDT July 18, 2023

For five years, two families have struggled to reconcile the fact that the convicted killer of a 13-year-old girl could be paroled - despite thinking her conviction and death sentence years earlier had brought them closure.

Now they know that Judith Ann Neelley will spend at least another five years behind bars. On May 25, 2023, after hearing statements against her parole, the Alabama Board of Pardons & Paroles came to a unanimous decision in less than three minutes to deny Neelley parole. No one spoke in support of Neelley. She won't be eligible for another parole hearing until May of 2028.

For these families, it is a saga of murder, justice served, justice taken away, and a fight for what they say is right.

History hangs on the walls of Vintage 1889 at Historic Big Mill in Fort Payne, and it also sits within the lovingly-kept pages of a scrapbook. Cassie Millican lovingly gazes at the photos that tell more stories than many people might assume.

"This is her happy," Cassie remarked of the face in one of the pictures. "She had dimples when she smiled."

The happy face is holding a small child - Lisa Ann. The value of these moments in time become more apparent, and more painful, as Cassie describes each successive photograph.

"There was a really good one, I think it was called, 'Who is Lisa Ann?'"

Before You Leave, Check This Out