CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield family is outraged after learning the man convicted of killing their loved one in Amelia County will be set free.
WRIC spoke with the family of Gerald Hall, who was shot by Donald Lee Brooks on April 12, 2010. Hall, who was shot outside of B & N Grill in Amelia County, succumbed to his injuries a month later. Now, 10 years into a sentence of 28 years behind bars, Hall’s family has learned his convicted killer will soon be paroled.
“I’m still in therapy over it,” said Ruthie Webster, with the pain in her voice noticeable. “He shot my brother multiple times in the back, and as my brother fell to the ground and lay there bleeding out dying, he kicked my brother over — faced him face to face, held the gun and shot him again in the stomach, pulled out a knife and slit his throat.”
Brooks was convicted of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. However, a notice sent to the family from the parole board on May 1 revealed Brooks would be released within 30 days due to geriatric law.
“How do you let a violent criminal free just because he’s old?” Webster asked “He was old when he shot my brother to the ground.”
Under the geriatric law provision, the Virginia Parole Board may consider someone age 65 or older, who has already served at least five years of their sentence, to be granted their release. Hall’s family, however, wishes the parole board would have considered their feelings before granting their loved one’s killer freedom.
“To let him out then would diminish the seriousness of his crimes,” Christopher Hoskin, the nephew of the victim, added.
Webster told our sister-station WRIC she was notified by mail two days before the parole hearing when Virginia code calls for 45 days’ notice.
“The geriatric law is the crack that a lot of violent criminals are falling through. I was actually notified on May the 4th, which was the day after the anniversary of my brother’s murder,” Webster said.
Lee Harrison, Amelia County Commonwealth’s Attorney, said he finds it odd that the parole board didn’t ask for his input prior to their decision, adding that “apparently we aren’t doing that these days.”
“I think it’s unusual that they didn’t bother to notify anybody that this is what they were gonna do,” Harrison added.
Webster also said this isn’t the first time they have had to repeal one of Brooks’ parole decisions — citing 2019 as the last time he was being considered for parole.
“You can’t heal and move forward because every single year we have to fight to keep him in jail,” Webster said.
Hall’s family has since written a letter to ‘rescind and reconsider’ the decision for Donald Lee Brooks — listing, what they feel, are possible parole board violations.
The family of Gerald Hall says they will continue to fight the decision, not just for themselves, but for others who may be going through a similar situation.
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