FRANKFORT, KY (FOX19) - The parole hearings for a convicted northern Kentucky killer began Wednesday morning.
Clay Shrout shot and killed his parents and two younger sisters in their northern Kentucky home in 1994. He then went to his Ryle High School trigonometry class and held the students hostage at gunpoint.
In 1995, Shrout was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
Shrout faces a nine-member panel Monday who can either vote to grant parole or defer for up to five years.
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He originally faced a two-person panel Wednesday morning, but the panel could not agree on a decision. Shrout was questioned heavily by both members of the two-person panel.
He said he began using drugs a year or so before the killings and claimed he and his dad got into a yelling match the day before he murdered his family. Shrout said he took his dad’s gun out of his car, and when he woke up the next morning he used it to kill his family. He said he held his class hostage hoping to have police kill him after what he’d done at his house.
When asked by parole members why he killed his two sisters, Shrout said he felt like they wouldn’t want to live after what he had done.
Shrout says his mother had sexually abused him at a young age. He said it began when he was an infant when she would give him baths. He admits he never told anyone about the alleged abuse, except for a few church members years later. Shrout told parole officers he dealt with most of it internally. He claims his father knew about the alleged abuse but did nothing about it.
Since the killings, Shrout says he has written letters to some of his family members and a vice principal at Ryle High.
Then-President Bill Clinton awarded Ryle assistant principal Steve Sorrell a presidential award for getting the gun away from Shrout. Sorrell told FOX19 NOW he prefers to save his remarks for the parole board.
So far, Shrout has served 24 years and eight months.
If granted parole, Shrout could be released in May. He says he wants to get involved in a church and attend an inmate program, possibly find a job repairing cars.
He told parole board members he became a Christian in 1999. And that is why a few years later, he says, his behavior in prison changed after multiple escape attempts. He also attributed the change to needing to deal with the murders of his family members.
“I still don’t feel OK about what I have done and I still don’t feel OK about who I have killed and I still don’t feel OK about the kids that were in the class that day,” he said.