Tuesday was an emotional day for Kim Erlenbeck, the ex-wife of Howard Marnell and sister of Sandra Olrich, who Marnell brutally murdered in 1982. On Tuesday, Marnell's parole was rescinded, set to be reconsidered in May.
"I'm just hoping that when they take into considering everything they didn't take into consideration before, they'll realize that he's a danger to society and that he should never, ever be let out," said Erlenbeck.
Erlenbeck and her daughter, Jessica Ward, along with several other family members, are heading to Albany tomorrow morning. They hope to speak with lawmakers and rally community support in an effort to ensure Marnell remains behind bars for good.
"He's a threat," said Jessica Ward, Marnell's biological daughter and Olrich's niece. "This type of person can't be rehabilitated and put back on the streets. And it's not fair. He took away a life. Why should he get released when Sandra is never going to be here again. My family is never going to be the same. So why should he get a second chance?"
The family is trying to send a clear message to both supporters and lawmakers in Albany. "A brutal murderer is about to be unjustly released," said Ward. "We want the community to be aware of this, and we want the community and the officials to know our story, and how we feel the parole hearing was not a fair decision."
The family remains nervous, waiting to see what the parole board will decide in May, but Tuesday's news about his rescinded release gives them hope.
"There's a lot of work left to be done, but I feel like we're on our way," said Erlenback. "It's a tremendous weight lifted off my chest."