The state’s Probation and Parole Board has denied parole for a prisoner convicted of the gruesome murder of an elderly northern Missouri man in 1991.

Convicted killer Jeromy Lay (2017 photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Corrections)

Convicted killer Jeromy Lay is incarcerated at the maximum-security South Central Correctional Center in Licking.

The 43-year-old Lay is serving a life sentence without parole for the April 1991 stabbing death of 77-year-old William Howard Kirtley in Moberly.

Lay was 17 at the time of the killing and was eligible for a parole hearing because of a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which said that life sentences without parole for juveniles was unconstitutional.

That case was called “Miller vs. Alabama”.

Former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) signed legislation into law in 2016, which allows juveniles who were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without parole to request a parole hearing, after serving 25 years in prison. Jeromy Lay met that criteria.

Missouri’s Probation and Parole Board held a June 28th parole hearing for Lay in Licking. Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) spokesman David Owen tells Missourinet the Board has rejected Lay’s parole request. Owen says Lay’s next parole hearing is scheduled for June 2022.

Veteran Randolph County Prosecutor Mike Fusselman (R) prosecuted this case more than 26 years ago, and is still the prosecutor. He praises the Board’s decision to reject parole.

Fusselman tells Missourinet the judge and jury got it right, noting Kirtley was stabbed at least 20 times in the chest, neck and face areas. Kirtley also suffered two broken ribs and a cracked sternum.

Lay and another teen at the time, 15-year-old Jason Minks, were convicted of first degree murder.

Fusselman says neither Lay nor Minks should be released from prison, citing the crime’s brutality and the extended period of time the murder took.

The 42-year-old Minks is currently incarcerated at Eastern Reception Diagnostic Correctional Center (ERDCC) in Bonne Terre. Fusselman says the Parole Board held a hearing for Minks earlier this year, and rejected his parole request.