Parole board not unanimous on decision for McCafferty - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Parole board not unanimous on decision for McCafferty; second hearing Tuesday

Cheryl McCafferty pleads for parole to members of the Kentucky Parole Board Cheryl McCafferty pleads for parole to members of the Kentucky Parole Board

FORT THOMAS, KY (FOX19) - The Kentucky Parole Board won't announce their decision on parole for Cheryl McCafferty until next week. The two parole board members who met with Cheryl chose instead to defer her case to Frankfurt and the entire parole board of nine members; saying they could not come to a decision about her release.

McCafferty met with two members of the parole board for about 45 minutes on Thursday. She cried as she pled for her release and told them she was remorseful for killing her husband, Bob. "If I had left sooner, if I had gone to an attorney sooner, if I had told more people. I've beat myself up over that; thinking that I was trying to hold the family together and protect my kids," said McCafferty.

She said if she was released, she would live with her parents in Kenton County and she had employment already lined up at B&B Riverboats. She also said she felt she would be a benefit to society, and would like to be an advocate for domestic violence. 

Cheryl says she has taken advantage of prison programs during her time at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women. "I've taken every applicable program there is that applies to me. I've been in grief care, I've been in al-anon to understand the alcoholism and why he couldn't quit. I've taken survivors of domestic violence; I've taken survivors of rape and sexual assault. I've taken a prison to the streets class; I'm very active in the church."

"I don't want my husband's death to be in vain," McCafferty said. "I want to help other women so they don't end up in the same situation I'm in." Parole Board members Monica Edmonds and Shannon Jones went over the case with Cheryl and looked at documents related to her time in prison. At times, their questions and responses to Cheryl were not easy to answer. "You're in prison, their father is deceased, they have neither parent, and they have a lifelong sentence because of an act that you choose to commit." Shannon Jones.

After McCafferty made her case, those two members of the board met for about five minutes and then said they could not make a decision right away, and will refer the decision to the full parole board. That announcement is expected to come Tuesday, Jan. 18.

McCafferty was convicted in March of 2009 of manslaughter for shooting and killing her husband, Bob, in their home. The court recognized her as a victim of domestic violence, meaning she may only have to serve 20 percent of her 18-year sentence. She also got credit for time served after being arrested in June of 2007 following Bob's death.

Commonwealth's Attorney representatives and members of Fort Thomas Police met with Bob McCafferty's family during a victim hearing on Monday. Commonwealth Attorney Michelle Snodgrass and Detective Brad Adams both asked members of the parole board to deny the early release.

"It would be an injustice to the memory of Bob McCafferty to release Cheryl McCafferty at this time," said Snodgrass. "She has not yet been held accountable for her actions. On June 25, 2007, she made the choice to deprive the McCafferty family of a son, a brother, a father and a friend. When you make that choice, the choice to take the life of another person, you must be held accountable."

Defense attorney Keith Gambrel has a different view. He says Cheryl has been a model prisoner. "Prison is to rehabilitate, to address mental health issues, addiction issues. Cheryl McCafferty doesn't have these issues. She was a victim of domestic violence and committed a very bad act, and was sent there to be punished," says Gambrel.

The hearing was held at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women. Next week's parole hearing will be held in Frankfort on Tuesday in a closed session. Prisoners are not allowed to have an attorney at these types of hearings, so McCafferty will make her appeal alone. A decision could come soon after the hearing.

To read more about this case, CLICK HERE.

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