Murderer on parole kills again - KMOV.com

Murderer on parole kills again

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) -- It's a case that could have you shaking your head: a convicted murderer sentenced to prison gets out on early release, then 14 months later -- kills again.

He was sentenced Thursday for the latest crime. Even prosecutors are baffled by this one.

Perhaps what's most frustrating about this case is how difficult it is to hold the parole board accountable. In Missouri, parole hearings are not open to the public, which means no one but the board knows why Danny Smith was set free.

Smith was even convicted of using of a weapon while in prison.

Smith was convicted in 1988 of murdering an elderly woman who was found bound, gagged and badly beaten. Smith was originally sentenced to 35 years but only served 20. He was on parole when he murdered Kenneth Isbell -- execution style -- in front of his pregnant girlfriend and their daughter inside their home on Natural Bridge. That was 2009. He was sentenced for that crime on Thursday. He's locked up again -- this time -- for good.

"I think it's frustrating for people and it's frustrating for me that the parole board makes these decisions," St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says, "...In my opinion, someone with this violent history who continues to show signs of violence, even once he's in the penitentiary, should not be released into the community."

Danny Smith was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole, plus an additional 25 years for good measure. That way, prosecutors say, even if laws would change somewhere down the road, Danny Smith will never see freedom again.

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