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Suspected serial killer withdraws from parole hearing

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BATON ROUGE- A suspected serial killer convicted of the rape and murder of one woman was set to go before the state parole board Thursday, but withdrew a request for a hearing.

Samuel Galbraith almost walked free back in April when the board cleared him for release. However, days before he was set to walk out of Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, the WBRZ Investigative Unit reported a story which caught Governor John Bel Edwards attention.  Soon, the parole board blocked Galbraith's release and ordered a re-hearing for August 3, 2017.

"We had been prepared to go there," Jesse McWilliams, the murder victim's mother said from the Mid West Thursday. "I'm nervous about it. I don't trust him. I feel like tomorrow he could say I'll do it now."

Samuel Galbraith killed her daughter back in 1988. Karen Sue Eads Hill was 21-years-old when she was brutally murdered. Galbraith raped her, tied her to a tree and shot her in the left eye.

For ten years Galbraith roamed free, until he was caught in Texas. He was sentenced to 71 years and ordered to serve 85 percent of it. But, after serving just 17 in Louisiana, the parole board granted his release.

As outrage continued across the state, the governor stepped in. Because Galbraith withdrew his parole hearing request, he won't be eligible for another hearing for at least two years. There's no guarantee when he applies for another hearing that he'll even be granted one.
 
"To me, that's a win," McWilliams said. "We've got him in there another two years longer. I don't understand why he would do that. Why would you ask to stay in prison for two more years?"

McWilliams, who lives in Illinois, is grateful to everyone in Louisiana who stood behind her family as they fought to keep her daughter's killer locked up for what he did.

"Thank you, thank you, and thank you," McWilliams said. "We've had support from Louisiana, Texas, Illinois and Iowa."

Vernon Parish District Attorney Asa Skinner called the two additional years Galbraith will serve before he's eligible to reapply for parole consideration justice.

Sources said, though, Galbraith has lawyered up. We reached out to his attorney, but haven't heard back.

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