A convicted killer who was initially sentenced to death for raping two sisters and pushing them off a bridge in 1991 could be released from prison in two years.
Reginald Clemons avoided the death penalty when the Missouri Supreme Court overturned his convictions in 2015, and he will have his first parole board hearing in June due to a technicality, according to the Post-Dispatch newspaper.
After the convictions were overturned, Clemons pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of 20-year-old Julie Kerry and younger sister Robin, 19. He was sentenced to five consecutive life terms and is also serving 15 years for an attack on a prison guard.
However, Missouri did not begin to impose mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes until 1994, making Clemons eligible for parole after serving 15 years. He has served 25.
Clemons could be released as early as Nov. 9, 2020, Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Garry Brix tells the Post-Dispatch.
The 47-year-old Clemons confessed that he and three accomplices raped and killed the Kerry sisters on April 4, 1991. They forced another person to jump off the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis, but Thomas Cummins survived.
Julie Kerry’s body was found several weeks later, but her sister was never found.
Accomplice Marlin Gray was executed in 2005, according to the Post-Dispatch, and Antonio Richardson is serving life in prison. Daniel Winfrey, who was 15 at the time of the murders, was paroled in 2007 but is currently behind bars, according to the newspaper.