Parole Board reschedules hearing for murderer due to mailing error

Samuel Galbraith (Source: KALB)
Samuel Galbraith (Source: KALB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - UPDATE: The Parole Board released a statement Friday afternoon confirming the case will be reheard and parole will be rescinded based on a mailing error.

"The Parole Board announced its decision this afternoon to rescind the parole of Samuel Galbraith previously granted in November," Parole Board Chair Sheryl Ranatza said in a statement. "The victim's mother did state that her parole hearing notification letter for the originally scheduled October hearing was mailed to an address in Albany, New York rather than her address in Albany, Illinois."

Because of the apparent procedural error which occurred with the initial victim notification, the Board will reschedule a subsequent parole hearing for Mr. Galbraith, so that the victim's mother and the District Attorney have the opportunity to fully participate in the process.


Gov. John Bel Edwards is weighing in on the scheduled release of a convicted rapist and murderer.

"My staff has been in contact with the parole board today and we are looking at what options are available," he said. "We want to make sure that the process that was followed was complete and that they did everything they were supposed to."

Samuel Galbraith was convicted of raping and killing 21-year-old Karen Hill. The crime happened in 1988 in Leesville, La., but he avoided capture for nearly ten years.

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Galbraith was finally arrested and charged with first-degree murder. However, he took a plea deal to the lesser charge of manslaughter and attempted aggravated rape.

After his conviction, Galbraith was sentenced to serve 71 years, but after 17 years behind bars, he's set to be released from the Elane Hunt Correctional Center.

In November 2016, despite strong objections from the victim's family, the Vernon Parish DA and the Sheriff's department, Galbraith was granted parole by the Louisiana Parole Board. According to reports, the board granted parole because of Galbraith's good conduct while incarcerated, his community service and completion of various rehabilitation programs, and his strong family support system.

The conditions of Galbraith's parole include being barred from entering the state of Louisiana and from contacting any of the victim's family members. He will remain on parole until 2032.

During a press availability Friday morning, Gov. Edwards said he is talking with top officials to find out what, if anything, can be done with this case.

"It's too early to say yet exactly what is going to happen in the meeting because I just need to see what whether all the requirements were followed, what the options are going forward," he said. "There will be more information on that later today."

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