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Ledbetter opposes parole of ‘monster’ Neelley

Judith Ann Neelley, convicted of a heinous murder 40 years ago, is slated for a parole hearing next month.

And Alabama House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter is having nothing of it.

Neelley was found guilty of kidnapping and killing 13-year-old Lisa Millican of Rome, Ga., and sentenced to death in the electric chair in 1983.

However, in 1999, then-Gov. Fob James commuted her sentence to life in prison on his final day in office. Her first parole hearing was in 2018 and the Parole Board took less than a minute to deny it.

In a letter Friday to Cam Ward, executive director of the state Bureau of Pardons and Paroles, Ledbetter, who represents DeKalb County, wrote, “I deeply believe that Gov. James’ decision to commute Neelley’s death sentence was a travesty of Alabama’s justice system, and granting her parole at any point would simply compound an already egregious wrong.

“Some crimes are so barbaric and the details surrounding them are so inhumane that no measure of mercy can ever be allotted to the individual responsible, and I believe this atrocity offers a textbook example.

“Please share my firm opposition with the members of the Alabama Pardons & Paroles Board and join me in praying for the family of Lisa Millican as they once again face the possible release of a monster.”

Neelley’s parole hearing is May 25.

Millican was kidnapped at a shopping mall Sept. 25, 1982, in Rome and taken to a motel in Scottsboro where she was raped by Neelley and her husband Alvin multiple times. Three days later, Judith Neelley injected Millican with Drano and Liquid Plum-R several times in attempts to kill her.

However, the child survived. Then later, at Little River Canyon, Judith Neelley shot Millican in the back and threw her over a cliff.

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