McElroy Murder Accomplice May Get Parole

A man convicted for his role in the murder and kidnapping of an East Texan may soon be released from prison. That is worrying the victim's family.

Alfredo Romero was sentenced to 30 years in jail. So far, he has served just over three.

In March 2000, Kyle McElroy was kidnapped, and murdered just outside of his hometown of Troup.  "At three o'clock, it's time for him to come to work. He ought to be here," said Kyle's father Kevin Tuesday afternoon. "But I still, still every once in a while I expect him just to walk in."

Kyle, was choked to death while duct taped to a chair. Alfredo Romero was convicted for organized criminal activity. Two of his accomplices plead guilty to murder. Daniel Rios was sentenced to life, while Ernesto Baylan was given 50 years. A fourth person, Desiree Dawn Lingo-Perkins is still on the loose.

"Alfredo Romero was the one that taped Kyle up," claims McElroy.  "And, the tape came up gone from the [Cherokee County] Sheriff Department." McElroy says because of the missing evidence, Romero got a reduced charge.

Earlier this year, Kevin received a letter from the Department of Criminal Justice, saying Romero could be paroled as soon as July. "I knew eventually we would have to deal with the fact that he would be released. I didn't think we would have to deal with it this soon."

The McElroy's were told Romero would have to serve at least one fourth of his thirty year sentence to be eligible for parole. That comes out to 7 and a half years. Inmates get credit not only for time served, but also for good behavior. So if romero behaves for three and a quarter years, the parole board gives him a total of 7 and a half. All of this has left the McElroys feeling victimized once again.

"Two or three years in the prison system is not going to rehabilitate them. Basically, I was lied to. A lie is a lie."

Kevin McElroy says he will testify at Romero's parole hearing this summer to keep Romero behind bars.

Stephen Parr, reporting.