ANGLETON, Texas - Relatives who were told a Houston serial killer may be days away from release expressed relief as his parole was turned down just hours after they addressed Texas Parole Board members, Local 2 Investigates reported Friday.
"I think we got some action, some positive action, from the meeting," said James Dreymala, whose 13-year-old son, Stanton, was the last victim to die in the 1973 killing spree.
He and other relatives addressed a Texas Board of Pardons and Parole panel member in Angleton Friday, near the prison where David Owen Brooks is serving a life sentence in the killings of at least 29 boys from the Houston Heights.
"I think he's a human being, and I left it with the fact that any person with any feelings whatsoever would vote no on his parole," said Dreymala.
His family said that a parole board member told them that parole was likely days away for Brooks, but that attitude changed after Local 2 Investigates reported on the case Thursday night.
Parole Board member Cornith Davis, who was appointed by the governor, shook the families' hands and told them he had just met with Brooks behind bars Friday as he prepared to make a decision.
Brooks is serving a life term, along with Elmer Wayne Henley, for rounding up boys for serial killer Dean Corrl to torture and kill at a Pasadena home. The crime spree was discovered in 1973 when Henley shot and killed Corrl at that home.
Dreymala's sister, who was 9 years old when her brother was murdered, said after the meeting that, "I feel like things have changed."
"I just feel like he's aware that there's a lot of power behind us, and that there's a lot of people that feel the same as we do that, not just victims' families, but members of society, that don't want to see him out of prison," she said.
A Facebook page set up by the family to drum up support proudly announced the parole board's ruling Friday.
Two of the three members of the parole board panel assigned to the case in Angleton cast votes against the parole Friday after the family's meeting, which formally turned down Brooks' parole.
Davis also told the family that he spoke to a relative of Brooks', who contacted him after the Local 2 Investigates report, and she also urged that parole be denied.
Brooks will be eligible for parole again in three years. This now makes at least 18 times that his parole has been denied since his 1975 conviction.
James Dreymala said, "I want to see him stay there until he dies, personally."
The parole board did turn down the family's request to have the time between each parole review extended. Instead of being up for parole every three years, they asked the board to extend that to five years between each review.
The board turned down that request.
Outside the parole board panel meeting in Angleton, city of Houston crime victim's advocate Andy Kahan said, "There's no reason for this family and other families to be put through this procedure every few years when it's within the board's discretion to give this family more time to heal and go about their lives. This is what you would call a no-brainer case, not to release a serial killer and there's no reason to every few years to be up here taking the time and resources."
He said the parole board only extends the time to the state maximum, five years between each parole review, in a fraction of one percent of the eligible murder cases statewide.
The relatives of Stanton Dreymala said they will meet face to face with parole board members in the same fashion any time that Brooks or Henley come up for parole in the future.
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