Almost 20 years after he stepped behind the bars that would cage him for life, a convicted murderer could get parole.
A re-sentencing hearing for Nathan Boyd wrapped up Friday in Florence. Family of the victim, Danny Sledge, spent the past two days in the court house. They say it’s just a continuation of the toll this has all taken on their family.
“You never really feel safe again after something like this,” said Sledge’s daughter Jessica Columbia. “The anger’s always there and it’s hard to heal.”
Boyd was four months shy of 18 years old when he and his brother stabbed Sledge to death in 1999. The re-sentencing hearing is because of a Supreme Court ruling that gives juvenile offenders a chance at parole.
“If they don’t uphold what was decided we’re gonna have to deal with parole hearings for two of them instead of one,” said Columbia, talking about Boyd’s brother. “If they do then we’re gonna have to deal with appeals for no telling how long. So it’s a never-ending battle.”
Columbia says she’s ready for the days in court to end.
“He took a lot from our family,” she said. “He took a lot from me, he took a lot from all of us individually and I wanted to make sure he understood the weight of that.”
Boyd’s defense attorneys wouldn’t speak on camera but say they think they made the best legal argument possible.
The county district attorney says this is the first case after the Supreme Court Miller Decision and it’s a brutal one.
“The Miller case that they’re ruling, Evan Miller was 14,” said Chris Connolly. “And other people, they’re 14, maybe, maybe not. And I get re-looking at some of those. This guy was four months away from being an adult or we wouldn’t be here. In a case like this I don’t think it’s a close call.”
The judge told the court room he’ll try to make a decision as quickly as possible.
There’s a case out of Lawrence County that was affected by the Miller Decision. The judge hasn’t made a decision in that case and it’s been more than a year.