Advertisement

1997 murder victims’ families sob during parole hearing for Louisville killer

Kimberly Harris was sentenced to life in prison for the executions of Patty Eitel and Deborah Bell in April 1997 in the parking lot of Jefferson Place, a nursin
Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 6:10 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2022 at 6:41 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Two families relived the worst day of their lives on Monday, pleading with the Kentucky State Parole Board to keep a convicted killer behind bars.

Kimberly Harris was sentenced to life in prison for the executions of Patty Eitel and Deborah Bell in April 1997 in the parking lot of Jefferson Place, a nursing home near Herr Lane. A life sentence in 2001 included the possibility of parole after 25 years.

After Harris became eligible for the first time, the first of two parole hearings was held on Monday via Zoom.

Deborah Bell’s daughter, Cecily Bell, supported her brother during his testimony before the board.

“I miss her so much,” Ron Bell said about his mother. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her.”

“I remember I took her pillow case from the house,” Cecily Bell said. “I slept with it for years as a 21-year-old, smelling it, smelling her clothes and using her perfume.”

The families of the victims told WAVE that they had been thinking about what they would say to the board once this day arrived.

“Don’t kid yourself,” Patty Eitel’s husband, Terry Eitel, said. “No matter what kind of controls you put on (Harris), if you parole her, she’s going to have access to guns again, and she knows how to use them.”

Terry also reminded the board of Harris’ hit list, which included him.

“I am wrecked with guilt that I didn’t see this coming,” he said. “Don’t make the same mistake that I did.”

Patty Eitel and Deborah Bell were leaving work at the Jefferson Place nursing home on Herr Lane when Harris walked up to them and shot them multiple times. She then walked closer to the women and fired again, killing them. Harris then sped away in her car, following a pre-planned route.

An investigation revealed she had also harassed, stalked, and threatened to shoot the women before their murders. She also stole Patty’s dog and later told her it demonstrated what she was capable of doing and getting away with.

The Justice Cabinet stated that now that Harris is eligible for parole, they are required by law to review the case.

Harris will testify before the parole board on Wednesday before they make their decision.

Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.