GROVELAND, Mass. — The family of a murdered Groveland teenager is preparing for what is sure to be an emotional parole board hearing.
Beth Brodie was 15 years old when an ex-boyfriend beat her to death with a baseball bat. Now, nearly 27 years later, that convicted teen killer is getting a parole hearing.
"We're devastated. As prepared as we thought we were, we've been preparing for five years. It's a powerful punch to face the facts that he's going to be in the same room as us," said Sean Alyward, Brodie's older brother.
Alyward thought Beth's 16-year-old killer Richard Baldwin was gone for good, sentenced to life no parole in 1994, but recent court rulings - citing the delayed development of the teenage brain - have upended Baldwin's sentence, as it has for all teen killers, meaning Baldwin is now eligible for parole.
"She was only 15 years old. She was still young and innocent, an honor roll student, cheerleader. She was just a good little girl," said Alyward.
Recently, Alyward received a notice from the parole board saying Baldwin will have a chance at freedom on April 30.
"He was sentenced to life, we didn't have to think about him at all. He didn't deserve any of our thoughts and still doesn't deserve our thoughts. But here we are, ready to face parole and he thinks for some reason he should walk free," said Alyward.
Since the laws changed, Alyward has petitioned for change at the State House - and to anyone who will listen - but his protests have fallen on deaf ears.
"The only message I could leave lawmakers that changed the law in the first place is this is the retraumatization that you never took into account and never considered the victims or their families," he said.
At Sean Alyward's house, he keeps an empty kitchen chair for Beth. He says the pain never goes away.
"We've been dealt a broken promise here. They promised life no parole, and here we are," he said.
Some of the 63 convicted teen killers in Massachusetts who were originally given life no-parole sentences have since won their freedom through parole.
Beth's family is committed to trying to keep her killer right where he is.
Cox Media Group