Convicted murderer cries during parole board appearance

Convicted murderer cries during parole board appearance
Mary Byron was killed by Donovan Harris in 1993. (Source: Family photo)
Mary Byron was killed by Donovan Harris in 1993. (Source: Family photo)
Donovan Harris was sentenced to life in prison but is eligible for parole in October. (Source: KOOL)
Donovan Harris was sentenced to life in prison but is eligible for parole in October. (Source: KOOL)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A Louisville man who brutally murdered his ex-girlfriend, in the parking lot of Mall St. Matthews cried to two parole board members at the Kentucky State Reformatory Tuesday morning.

Donovan Harris admitted to raping and murdering his ex-girlfriend Mary Byron in 1993, but said he's sorry and he's a changed man.

The two board members he testified to at the Kentucky State Reformatory did not make a ruling, rather they passed the case on for the full board to vote next week.

Harris cried when the parole members described, in detail, how the deadly shooting played out.

He said his tears stemmed from the reality of the horror he's caused.

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He said he has no excuses, but did describe his mental state during those days. Harris said he was mad because Byron, his girlfriend of two years, broke up with him and would not give him a second chance. That is when he raped her.

After he was charged with rape and kidnapping, Harris said he was angry, depressed and suicidal because of the possible prison sentence in front of him.

After he was released on bond, the kidnapping charge was dropped, but not before Harris met Byron in the parking lot of Mall St Matthews on her 21st birthday.

Byron was leaving work, at the hair salon inside JC Penney. Harris said he demanded he let her inside the car. She locked the doors and that is when Harris shot her seven times - in her face and down the left side of her torso.

Harris said he then overdosed on sleeping pills.

While in prison, Harris said he completed a sex offender program, anger management and worked in the prison - all of which has given him a new way of processing life.

He said he deserves a second chance.

The two board members were not completely convinced.

They forwarded the decision to the full parole board, consisting of nine members. The board can give him a maximum deferment of 10 years or choose to have him serve out his full life sentence.

The vote is scheduled for Aug. 21.

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